Livestock stakeholders in the Union of the Comoros have endorsed the proposed livestock development policy and the draft veterinary legislation to provide a fresh boost to the development of the sector in the country.

The documents will now be consolidated and labeled for official submission to the Government of the Comoros ahead of a government organized donor meeting in September this year to mobilize resources for the implementation of the policy, strategies, program and projects in order to boost livestock sector in the coming years.

The validation workshop took place on 27 – 28 March 2017 in Moroni and attracted 35 participants drawn from the national livestock policy hub members and other stakeholders.

The overall objective of developing a livestock policy and updating the Veterinary legislation is to improve livestock development in Comoros Union by involving value chain actors and other stakeholders including partner organizations. This is by taking into account the available resources and potential as well as the constraints that limit the development of livestock sector.

The initiative is supported by COMESA and the African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU/IBAR) through the VET GOV programme. In addition AU-IBAR will assist the country to develop a national animal health strategy.

Ten year years ago, the livestock in Comoros accounted for 11% of the value addition in the agri-food sector behind agriculture (49%), fisheries (31%) and the forest (9%). However, the sector has considerable potential for development, as evidenced by the progress made over the past two decades in the intensification of dairy and beef production.  It has also emerged as an essential element of livelihood, as it enables poor farmers to have a rapidly mobilized means of saving in the event of an emergency (small ruminants and poultry).

Participants were addressed by among others, Prof. Ahmed Elsawalhy of AU/IBAR and COMESA VET-GOV Coordinator Dr. Yoseph Mamo. The Vice President in charge of the Ministry of agriculture, fisheries, Environment, Territory, Urbanization and Food Security of the Comoros graced the opening ceremony.