Zambia has failed to enter the international meat market because there are no measures to control livestock diseases, a University of Zambia (UNZA) School of Agriculture and Sciences lecturer, Pharaoh Sianangoma, has charged.
He said this when he made submissions to the committee on the Auditor General’s report on management and control of livestock diseases as of June 2015.
Dr Sianangoma said animal diseases had posed a challenge to Zambia in her attempt to enter the international beef market.
“With a yawning market, both local and international, and diseases being one major hindrance to the entrance of Zambia into the market, the implementation of an appropriate and adequate disease control and management programme is necessary. If the livestock sector is to contribute at its full genetic potential, disease control measures must be implemented,” he said.
Dr Sianangoma said the Auditor General’s report fell short on scope because it was a single survey and hence could not capture the ramifications of actions that led to what was found prevailing on the ground.
He said while observations contained in the report were correct, it may not represent the true picture because data collected was subjective.
“It is therefore proposed that means be developed for continuous monitoring and evaluation that will not just rely on interviews but also verifications on the ground. In order for this to be successfully undertaken, it is further proposed that the Auditor General’s office be adequately funded,’’ he said.
Dr Sianangoma observed that other stakeholders in the management of livestock diseases whose impact was considerable were not included in the report.
“These include the trade sector which serves as a vehicle of disease transmission. Some traders deliberately elude control checkpoints while trading in livestock and livestock products,’’ he said.
Dr Sianangoma however said the fact that the report noted the lack of a Government policy on livestock development was a serious anomaly that begged for immediate remedy.