June 18 – 20 2014. Kampala, Uganda. The ALICE 2014 major objectives were to create an opportunity platform to stimulate technology transfer and knowledge sharing while developing intra-regional trade in livestock and livestock products.
Over 30 countries from Africa Europe and Asia participated in the conference which was attended by veterinary doctors, veterinary pharmaceutical companies and researchers in the livestock sector.
Presenting a paper on the status and opportunities in the Animal Industries in Eastern Africa, Dr. Jean Ndikumana the programme officer in charge of livestock and Fisheries at ASERECCA said the contribution of the sector in the GDP of East African Countries is still very low despite the fact that the sector has the capacity to contribute about 25%. He attributed the low contribution on the failure by most countries to increase investment in the livestock sector.
“Livestock is currently contributing only 10%. This is very small. We need to increase the investment in the sector by about 35% and that is when the sector will be productive,” he advised. He said the sector has many business opportunities which should be exploited by people in the private sector especially in the value addition chain and technology transfer.
Explaining the challenges which are hindering the sector to develop, Dr. Danilo Pezo the project leader of the small holder pig Value Chain Development in Uganda at the International Livestock Research Institute said poor livestock nutrition, inadequate access to quality veterinary services especially by the small holder livestock farmers and by less funds allocated to livestock researches are some of the challenges hindering the development of the livestock sector on the African continent .
“Small farmers need to be supported in accessing quality veterinary service especially during the out brake of livestock diseases ,more veterinary staff should be employed to ensure that in every corner of the country livestock farmers can have access to the veterinary services being offered by qualified staff,” he said.
On quick retains from the sector, the consultant asked the African ministries responsible for livestock to promote the farming of livestock like pigs sheep and poultry which he said are easy to manage and also give high returns in a short period of time.
Because of the above challenges this has kept the numerical number of Livestock on the African Continent low as compare to the global Livestock population. It is estimated that the Numerical livestock population in Africa is 231million out of the 1.3 billion in the whole world.
“Researchers in the sector is good but some of these researches done and funded by the developed countries are not helping the African countries because some cannot solve our challenges and their recommendations are very expensive to be implemented and also to be adopted by the local livestock farmers in most African countries that is why we need to carry out researches that can be useful to the local people this can be done if we can funds it by ourselves (Africa)” he explained.
(Source: East African Business Week 21/06/2014).
Most of the presentations from this year’s conference available here.
Published on 12 Mar 2014. Extract from the African Livestock Conference and Exhibition of last year: ALiCE 2013. One of the speakers was Stephen Muchiri of EAFF (see his contribution from 3min40” till 11min 20”).