Global Agriculture

FAO Director-general Says Political Commitment and More Investments Are Critical in Fight Against Peste Des Petits Ruminants

Quick Share

10 April 2024, Rome: The Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) QU Dongyu today called for urgent collective action and increased funding to eradicate Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR) during a meeting organized at FAO headquarters by the Friends of PPR group formed by Ambassadors from Rome-based UN Agencies.

“We need more of our collective and urgent action to control and eradicate PPR – we have less than 6 years left to achieve this goal,’’ he said, underscoring that since its inception in 2020, the Global PPR Eradication Programme has provided support for the millions of small ruminant keepers who depend on these animals for livelihoods, nutrition, and economic development.

First reported in 1942 in Côte d’Ivoire, PPR, also known as sheep and goat plague, is a highly contagious disease that infects both wild and domestic small ruminants in over 70 countries in Africa, the Near East and Asia. Upon introduction, the virus can rapidly spread throughout a herd, affecting up to 90 percent of animals and resulting in mortality rates of up to 70 percent. Its global economic impact is estimated at up to $2.1 billion, with over 300 million of the world’s poorest rural families depending on small ruminants for their livelihoods.

Today’s meeting was led by Ambassador Seydou Cissé from Côte d’Ivoire and included the participation of Gerardine Mukeshimana, Vice-president of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and  Carlos Bernardo Cherniak, Ambassador of Argentina and Chairperson of the COAG-Subcommittee on Livestock (SCL).

Qu commended the representatives for their commitment to combat PPR, and said that their support is instrumental in coordinating international efforts, mobilizing resources, and aiding countries in implementing effective control and eradication strategies.

“It is critical that we maintain political momentum and ensure that PPR National Strategic Plans remain a political priority at the highest government level,’’ he urged, underscoring that political commitment is a must.

The Director-General also reminded the Group that supporting financially PPR eradication is not a donation but an investment.

“Let’s try our best to eradicate PPR by 2030 and benefit millions of smallholder farmers around the world, in support of the transformation of agrifood systems to be more efficient, more inclusive, more resilient, and more sustainable, aiming for better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life, leaving no one behind,” he concluded.

Established in 2018, the Ambassadors of the “Friends of PPR Eradication” group, comprising representatives from Côte d’Ivoire, the European Union, France, India, Ireland, Kuwait, Mali, Tanzania, Turkey, and the United States of America, are tasked with advocating for PPR eradication within the governing bodies of FAO, IFAD, and the World Food Programme (WFP).

Also Read: ADAMA Launches New Multi-Crop, Broad Spectrum Fungicide Maxentis®

(For Latest Agriculture News & Updates, follow Krishak Jagat on Google News)

Quick Share