Veterinary science, transboundary animal diseases and markets: pathways for policy in Namibia

  • Published 19/04/08

The beef industry in southern Africa has been a stalwart of economic development, but new conditions of trade, market access and disease dynamics, particularly of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), mean a major rethink is required. Our research addresses key policy options to allow southern Africa to benefit from the global ‘livestock revolution’. It explores what options exist for trade, given changes in demand patterns, global competition and market access conditions, and asks who are the winners and losers of different scenarios for the future.

Livestock production accounts for 90% of agricultural production in Namibia – the most important income generation option for the rural population in a mainly arid country largely unsuited to crop production. Cattle ranching is a major activity in southern Namibia, in an area that is officially free of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) and has remained so for almost half a century. Here, large-scale ranching supports an important meat export industry that includes the high value EU market. However, this depends on the presence of a highly unpopular Veterinary Cordon Fence (VCF) that divides the country into two.

This is one of a series of briefings on our Veterinary Science project.