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.

Launching of animal health and production publications and DVDs
Friday, 10 May 2013 12:31

Today, the Animal Health and Production thematic team of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community’s Land Resources Division (SPC-LRD) launched a series of special publications and DVD materials to assist Pacific Island countries and territories to build their national capacity in the areas of animal health, animal biosecurity and public health.

Ms Fekitamoeloa ‘Utoikamanu, Deputy Director-General of SPC, in her remarks at the launch said, ‘Today is a special day; it marks the end of a pleasant journey of integrated collaboration for SPC teams and donor partners to achieve targeted outputs in line with project and client expectations.’

She added, ‘The work  involved numerous consultations with relevant stakeholders, the drafting and editing of training manuals, field work and pilot training with farmers and extension workers. 

‘Our stakeholders, including farmers and livestock officers, were pulled into the limelight as actors during the video filming of the documentary DVDs,’ said Ms ‘Utoikamanu.

She added that these publications are part of the capacity-building programme that has been one of the pillars of SPC’s corporate plans in the past and will continue to be so in the future.

The independent external review of SPC undertaken last year stated , ‘SPC’s ability to deliver a range of technical services to smaller member PICTs that do not have either sufficient resources or the capacity to provide these at national level is a key strength of the organization. In addition, where the economies of scale are such that it is more efficient to provide these services on a regional basis, SPC has a clear comparative advantage in the Pacific. Reflecting this, for many client PICTs, SPC’s provision of services is not an option, it is an imperative – the main challenge is to clearly identify which PICTs, what services are needed, and to strike the right balance between capacity building, capacity supplementation and capacity substitution.’

The development of materials for this capacity-building programme will ensure that these activities are sustainable and uniform in nature, and that national capacities and systems complement each other. With this approach, SPC and other development partners have laid the foundation for possible future regionally based approaches to the needs of the region. 

LRD’s ongoing paravet training programme is an example of a focused capacity-building programme that has been applied uniformly across the region for the last ten or so years.  Some of the publications being launched today will add to the resources of this paravet training programme.

Director for SPC’s Land Resources Division, Mr Inoke Ratukalou, said, ‘Today we are proud to showcase the work LRD is doing to highlight some of the ongoing initiatives in response to climate change, animal disease and livestock disasters, exotic pests, and the introduction of diseases into the Pacific region. We are also undertaking training programmes to increase productivity, prevent animal illnesses and improve animal husbandry practices.’


In officiating at this launch, Ms ‘Utoikamanu conveyed special appreciation to  SPC’s development partners who worked with SPC’s Animal Health and Production team to produce these materials. She thanked AusAID, which assisted with the production of the bibliography, Domestic animal diseases within the Pacific Island region, as part of the AusAID-funded Food Animal Biosecurity Network project undertaken jointly by SPC and James Cook University in Queensland. 

She also thanked the German Agency for International Cooperation programme, with their Coping with Climate Change in the Pacific Island Region (CCCPIR) project, for supporting the consultations and organisation of regional workshops, and for their guidance in the production of six livestock and climate change adaptation fact sheets and the Five-year strategic plan for mainstreaming climate change in the livestock sector in the Pacific: 2012–2016.

Ms ‘Utoikamanu thanked the SPC teams – the Regional Media Centre and the publications and translation teams – which collaborated with LRD’s Animal Health and Production team to produce these materials.

In her closing remarks, she reiterated that SPC will continue to evolve in ways that better serve the Pacific region and will continue to work with member countries to meet their needs and priorities.

END
 
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