Africa / Animal Diseases / Animal Production / Botswana / Disease Control / Livestock / Southern Africa / Vaccines

Botswana’s cattle industry: an uncertain future despite vaccine breakthrough

One chief facet of the country’s domestic agriculture industry remains cattle raising (though agriculture and livestock production account for between only 2-4% of GDP, while employing approximately 25% of the country’s labor force) and the export of beef to international markets such as the European Union (EU) and South Africa, although production has admittedly sagged in recent years given Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) outbreaks and the EU’s rigid import criteria (including hormone-free requirements) which does not accept beef exports from FMD-vaccinated areas.

However, the Botswana Vaccine Institute’s (BVI) recent launch of a P200 million production facility capable of producing nearly 24 million mono doses of FMD vaccine annually (the result of a public–private partnership between the state and Paris-based Merial, an animal health subsidiary of Sanofi-Aventis), should help the domestic industry’s competitiveness, per BVI general manager Dr. Onkabetse George Matlho.

Read more … (Botswana Business Diary)

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