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DVS and Cornell University Co-Host Stakeholder Validation Workshop:
Gap Analysis for Implementation of Commodity-Based Trade of Beef in Ngamiland
Maun (July 30, 2019)— The Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) and Cornell University’s Animal & Human Health for the Environment And Development (AHEAD) Programme are co-hosting the above-mentioned workshop, with additional support from The Rockefeller Foundation, the David R. Atkinson Centre for a Sustainable Future, and the European Union. The workshop starts today, July 30th, and continues through August 1st at Maun Lodge.
Livestock agriculture and wildlife conservation are both critical components of Ngamiland’s economy. However, the full potential economic benefits from livestock production are not being realised because cattle farmers in the district have been excluded from higher value markets due to the proximity of wildlife, particularly buffalo, that maintain foot and mouth disease (FMD) viruses. International trade standards for livestock commodities have historically required that production areas be free from FMD. This situation has restricted market access and constrained the success of livestock owners who share the land with wildlife. In addition, attempts to meet international FMD standards related to “freedom from disease” have had significant negative repercussions for free-ranging wildlife, largely related to disease control fencing.
Wildlife is one of Botswana’s greatest assets and the status of the district as a FMD-infected ‘red zone’ is unlikely to change in the near future. However, this does not mean the district cannot produce FMD-free beef. Commodity-based trade (CBT) approaches that focus on the safety of the beef production process, rather than on the animal disease situation in the locality of production, are scientifically sound and effective. The successful development of this approach in Ngamiland would be a ‘win-win’ for sustainable and diversified land use and livelihoods.
The Government of Botswana is committed to implementing CBT. To assist in these efforts, the AHEAD consortium, in collaboration with DVS, has provided technical support on the practicalities of implementing this innovative approach in Ngamiland. As part of a year-long evaluation process, a gap analysis has recently been completed. The draft report to be discussed at the workshop offers a detailed analysis of the situation in Ngamiland, and identifies key challenges that could affect successful implementation of CBT and resolution of land-use conflicts between livestock and wildlife. Very importantly, the report offers clear, practical recommendations. The workshop is focused on stakeholders within Ngamiland so that they can:
The workshop attendees include technical experts from both the livestock and wildlife sectors, representatives from Ngamiland farming communities, local and national government officials, as well as stakeholders from the private sector (including the beef and tourism sectors), development partners, NGOs, and academia. The draft Gap Analysis report is being distributed at the meeting, and will subsequently be available online once finalized.