Food and Agriculture Organisations (FAO) of the United Nations said it had taken steps to contain African swine fever (ASF) after farmers reportedly lost over N20billion and 70,000 pigs to it. FAO yesterday through an official statement said that effectively containing the decease, epidemiological officers, operators of pig farms, traders and others in the value chain, need to be empowered with relevant knowledge.
The global organisation media office in Nigeria, noted that part of the steps it had taken was training it organised for stakeholders in the pig value chain in collaboration with some government agencies through the USAID funded ‘Strengthening Global Coordination of Animal Health Emergencies of International Concerns’ project. FAO Representative in Nigeria and to ECOWAS, Fred Kafeero said that all stakeholders in this subsector of the country’s agriculture must embrace best practices of biosecurity measures to be able to overcome this decease. Kafeero also noted that experts in animal decease control need to build their capacity to prevent the spread of African swine fever, noting that it has no vaccine for now.
He said: “Unlike other Transboundary Animal Diseases (TAD), ASF has no known vaccine or cure, its continued spread in Nigeria has socio-economic and food security consequences if uncontrolled. “Value chain operators, especially the most vulnerable actors must therefore embrace good biosecurity measures. “Similarly, the capacities of epidemiological officers from at-risk-states because of their large pig population need to be enhanced to ensure the disease is contained and effectively managed to prevent the continued loss of livelihoods.”