5 March 2020. Abuja, Nigeria. The LIDISKI project (LIvestock DIsease Surveillance Knowledge Integration in Nigeria) was launched at a kick-off meeting.
The project focuses on two of the main animal diseases affecting farms in Nigeria: peste des petits ruminants (PPR) and Newcastle disease (ND). PPR is estimated to cause between $1.4 and $2.1 billion worth of damage in Nigeria every year, while Newcastle disease is highly virulent and can wipe out whole flocks of chickens.
Eradicating peste des petits ruminants is an ambitious objective that is nevertheless looking increasingly realistic, notably thanks to a targeted vaccination strategy centring on production systems that act as a virus reservoir. This was the conclusion drawn by a scientific study published in the journal PNAS (August 2018). The study was initiated by CIRAD and conducted by the Royal Veterinary College (RVC, University of London), in collaboration with Ethiopian and European partners.
Project operations will centre on four main activities:
- Capacity building, to improve the ability of animal health players in Nigeria to monitor and control PPR and ND. This means training people to recognize disease symptoms and collect and store the necessary samples and data. It will also involve increasing vaccine production and improving delivery.
- Involving field players in vaccination and disease reporting, through communication and awareness campaigns.
- Understanding the situation. Socioeconomic and epidemiological surveys will be conducted, focusing on PPR and ND distribution and impact, perception of disease and vaccination cost-benefits, gender-specific issues, and the impact of climatic events on livelihoods.
- Developing a toolkit for use in scaling up surveillance and control efforts across Nigeria.
CIRAD is involved in ten projects under the EU DeSIRA programme, ie almost half the projects chosen following the programme’s first call for proposals. It is coordinating four to be conducted in several West African countries, starting in in 2020 and due to run for four to five years:
- BIOSTAR, which aims to develop sustainable bioenergies for small and medium-sized agrifood firms, using crop residues or processing waste, in Burkina Faso, Senegal and Ivory Coast;
- COCOA4FUTURE, which aims to make cocoa farms in Ivory Coast and Ghana less vulnerable, while preserving the environment and identifying levers for socioeconomic sustainability;
- FAIR, on agroecological intensification to boost the resilience of farmers in the Sahel (Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Senegal);
- and LIDISKI, on the surveillance and control of peste des petits ruminants and Newcastle disease through smart technology development, in rural zones exposed to food insecurity in Nigeria.
The projects have been granted a total of 30 million euros of funding: from the EU, via the DeSIRA programme, and from the Agence française du développement (5 million), specifically for the BIOSTAR, COCOA4FUTURE and FAIR projects.
The other six DeSIRA projects in which CIRAD is involved as of 2020 under the first call are:
- ABEE, on building varietal breeding capacity and networks for crops resilient to climate change in the Sahel;
- ACCEPT, on access to agro-pastoral resources against a backdrop of mobility and climate change, for livestock production in Chad;
- CASSECS, on carbon capture and greenhouse gas emissions in agro-silvo-pastoral ecosystems in Burkina Faso, Senegal and Niger;
- CLIMALOCA, on developing innovations for cocoa smallholders in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, to reduce cadmium levels in cocoa;
- ZIMBABWE, on improving the livestock sector in terms of both animal health and livestock production in Zimbabwe;
- Innovation transfers to boost the productivity, profitability and sustainability of agrifood systems in Malawi.