Global Agriculture

In Cameroon, Director-General meets technical and financial partners, the scientific community and visits the National Veterinary Laboratory

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27 April 2024, Yaoundé: FAO Director-General, QU Dongyu as part of his official trip to Cameroon met with Technical and Financial Partners and the Scientific Community.

“Cameroon’s agrifood system has so much potential and today is an important occasion for us to see how we can further strengthen our partnership to identify and maximise opportunities that will further support this transformation,” the FAO Director-General said.

“To benefit Cameroon’s farmers, consumers, women, youth and rural development we need to focus on science and innovation, technology transfer, and capacity building to unlock the full potential of the agriculture sector and improve people’s livelihoods,” he added.

In attendance were H.E. Gabriel Mbairobe, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, H.E.Dr. Taïga, Minister of Livestock, Fisheries and Animal Industries, Patrick Biffot, and other high-level representatives.

The Director-General said FAO looked forward to working together with partners to identify further opportunities for joint efforts aimed at transforming Cameroon’s agrifood system.

He noted how FAO is mainstreaming science and innovation across its entire programme of work. Through the Hand-in-Hand Initiative – which Cameroon is participating in – FAO is bridging partners between countries with donors or financial institutions, improving rural communities. Additionally, Farmer Field Schools provides hands-on experience to farmers on a range of topics and agricultural practices.

He also invited participants in the meeting to join this year’s World Food Forum at FAO’s headquarters in Rome from 16 to 18 October, noting how the event brings together world experts, changemakers and visionary leaders from around the world to discuss and contribute to pressing challenges and opportunities in the field of food security, agriculture, and nutrition.

The World Food Forum will also comprise a Science and Innovation Forum, which brings together globally recognized science and innovation experts to exchange ideas and experiences on important practices and cutting-edge technologies and approaches, as well as the Hand-in-Hand Investment Forum and the Global Youth Forum, the FAO Director-General explained.

Leveraging technology in action

The Director-General also paid a visit to a FAO-supported project site – the National Veterinary Laboratory (LANAVET) – where he met with Cameroonian scientists.

During the visit, the Director-General saw the progress made at LANAVET and spoke to the beneficiaries on the impact FAO’s support has had on the national animal disease surveillance system in the country.

Since 2016, through the Global Health Security Agenda and with funding from USAID, FAO has been strengthening the national capacities of veterinary laboratories, a pivotal link in the prevention and surveillance of animal diseases due to their role in the diagnosis and early detection of outbreaks.

A Laboratory Information and Management System (LIMS) was also installed and 380 LANAVET staff members were trained in various fields of biosafety and biosecurity, quality assurance, transport of infectious substances, LIMS, Antimicrobial Resistance detection and animal disease diagnostics.

FAO’s regular intervention in this project has been crucial in helping to prevent, detect and respond to priority zoonotic diseases and combating their possible emergence and re-emergence. 

Going forward, the Director-General and LANAVET authorities exchanged ideas for new avenues of collaboration on the prevention and control of zoonotic diseases, in the context the One Health approach. 

Also Read: Rallis India Limited Reports FY24 Revenue at ₹ 2648 CR; Seeds Revenue Grew 21% and Delivered Break-even Profit

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