Animal Health and Production


Livestock plays an important role in the social, cultural and economic environment of Pacific Island communities. Indeed many, of the important social and cultural events in island life cannot be properly carried out without the slaughter and presentation of livestock in sufficient numbers. The Animal Health and Production thematic team works together in the Pacific region to develop prosperous, efficient and sustainable animal health and production systems, producing healthy animals and safe products for food security and income generation.

Paravets graduate in Fiji
Tuesday, 29 April 2014 11:09
Livestock production is an important economic activity for the Pacific Islands, yet the region is plagued by a shortage of specialists to guide our farmers in proper animal healthcare.

The shortage of trained veterinarians and livestock production specialists and the overall lack of technical and practical knowledge and skills in disease management and livestock husbandry in the region have impacts not only on farmers and food production, but also on human health, as many human diseases originate in farm animals.

The paravet training programme implemented by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) was established to address this issue. The programme began with a pilot in Samoa in 2003.

The training programme is the result of collaboration between several regional organisations led by SPC, the Agricultural Development in the American Pacific project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the University of the South Pacific.

In order to cover as many Pacific Island countries and territories as possible in a short time, SPC launched a paravet training the trainers’ programme for selected trainees from selected countries in April 2007.

The aim was to prepare new trainers to carry out training sessions within their government ministries, thus increasing the reach of the programme in producing trained paravets capable of carrying out national animal disease management activities.

Its overall goal was to integrate animal health and distance education with in-country skills training and to support the delivery of distance education on animal health and production.

The paravet training focused on:

-          Improving skills of staff in treating sick animals and advising farmers,

-          Boosting morale of staff,

-          Preparing staff for further training and helping them gain promotions through attainment of a certificate, and

-          Building confidence of staff in livestock husbandry and disease identification and treatment.

Feedback from graduates revealed that paravet training has resulted in countries and territories transferring most livestock activities to livestock officers and allowed them to be better equipped and motivated in responding to farmer's requests

The training has also increased capacity in disease investigation, surveillance and sampling with better understanding of how to investigate cases of disease in farm animals.

A total of 39 students graduated with certificates. Funding for the training programme was provided by the New Zealand Aid Programme.

(ENDS)

For more information and media queries please contact Vinesh Prasad (+679 3370733) or SPC’s LRD helpdesk This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Photo Caption: A Paravet graduate receiving her certificate from Fiji's Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forests Mr. Inia Seruiratu.

 

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