Veterinary Science, Transboundary Animal Diseases and Markets

How can southern Africa benefit from the global ‘livestock revolution’? What options exist for trade given changes in market demand, entry requirements and trade preferences? What veterinary and food safety standards are required for different trade options? What does this imply for disease control and management of transboundary diseases such as foot and mouth? Who are the winners and losers of different scenarios for the future?

These are just some of the questions faced by policymakers in southern Africa and beyond.

Supported by the Livestock for Life programme of the Wellcome Trust, this project debated these questions, and explored alternative scenarios for four country settings: Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe, as well as the wider southern African region. The project ran from 2006 – 2008.

Scenarios and questions

Over a 2 year period – through a combination of detailed research and a series of stakeholder-led dialogues – the research teams explored different scenarios for tackling the challenge of foot and mouth disease, relating each to different market access and trade options.

The core question has been: what option, or combination of options, makes most sense, given the current context? Different criteria are evident, with often clear trade offs. The studies asked: which option results in the greatest returns? Which provides benefits to the broadest group of people? And which will be, in the longer term, the most sustainable?

Disease control scenarios have included:

  • Zonation and area based disease freedom strategies
  • Accepting and managing endemic foot and mouth disease
  • Compartmentalisation
  • Commodity based trade options

Market access and trade options have included:

  • Securing EU export trade, including via private wholesaler/retailers
  • Looking east – marketing to Asia and the Middle East
  • Regional markets in Africa
  • Enhancing the value of domestic markets

The results of these engagements were shared and debated further at a major workshop in order to explore ways forward for the future, and identify the key shifts in the policy environment required.

Research partners

  • Ian Scoones, Institute of Development Studies and Will Wolmer (independent), Project Coordinators
  • Neo Mapitse – Department of Animal Health and Production, Botswana
  • Alec Bishi – Department of Veterinary Services, Namibia
  • Rebone Moerane – Department of Agriculture, Northern Cape, South Africa
  • Ronny Sibanda – Ingwe Breweries, formerly Cold Storage Company, Zimbabwe
  • Gavin Thomson – SADC-EU FMD project, Botswana/TAD Scientific, South Africa – Technical Adviser

Videos of the research partners:

Related links

Related Projects