Declare foot and mouth disease a national disaster - ZNFU

The Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) President, Jervis Zimba, has made a statement saying there is an urgent need for the Foot and Mouth Disease to be declared a national disaster. Zambia noted that the five provinces that have been hit by the cattle disease include Central, Southern, Muchinga, Northern and Eastern Provinces. The ZNFU President made this call yesterday during the National Harvest Day held Mumbwa district, Central Province.

Mr Zimba explained that the farmer union has engaged stakeholders in the livestock industry to come up with measures on how to resolve the outcry over the imported livestock products as well as the FMD challenges on June 6th, 2019. He added that the development came to light when all livestock related imported products and inputs were banned without any prior consultations with relevant stakeholders. Mr Zimba noted that the resolutions were submitted to the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock on June 7th, 2019, and that the union still awaits response from the authority.

He has since appealed for speedy implementation of the resolutions which were submitted to the ministry which includes joint action with the private sector.

Mr Zimba said among the resolutions farmers proposed, included progressive ideas that could reduce the financial burden on government, to vaccinate all the animals in the affected areas.

He said it was further suggested that under special conditions, government could select private companies to source recommended vaccines, for livestock farmers who are willing to purchase the vaccines and have their animals vaccinated.

President Edgar Lungu has stated that the government is concerned with the spread of the Foot and Mouth Disease in the country, assuring that government is making resources available to ensure that the disease is contained.

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