MASVINGO – Permanent Secretary for Masvingo Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Dr Addmore Pazvakavambwa has officially opened the Masvingo Provincial Veterinary Laboratory set up by the Livestock Production Systems in Zimbabwe Project (LIPS-ZIM).
Speaking at the event, Dr Pazvakavambwa said laboratories are a vital cog for the province to be able meet international markets trade requirements for livestock and livestock products.
“Laboratories are important for us to meet trade requirements for international markets for our livestock and livestock products.
“The laboratory also informs animal health personnel on the actual causes of diseases leading to a correct diagnosis and appropriate advice given to farmers with regards to treatment and this will result in improved animal productivity,” said Dr Pazvakavambwa.
He added hat the two postmortem areas and laboratory equipping means that services are brought closer to farmers hence increasing accessibility, decreases turnaround time for sample processing and production of results and transmission of the same to the farmers.
He also thanked the European Union for supporting and funding the project and said that there is no doubt that the project will enhance the quality of animal disease detection, surveillance, control and research in Masvingo Province and Zimbabwe at large.
“The postmortem refurbishments and laboratory equipment will be critical in the fight against animal and zoonotic diseases that are currently stocking the country and those that can emerge now and, in the future,”.
LIP-ZIM project coordinator Dr Sikhalazo Dube said the project has facilitated training for veterinary epidemiologists and staff from animal research services on database management and also farmers gained disease detection skills through direct training from the postgraduate students who recruited them to assist during data collection.
“The laboratory has been equipped with high technology equipment such as microspore to analyse, test and screen for animal diseases”.
Dean of Veterinary Science at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ), Prof Gift Matope said through the LIPS-ZIM Project, UZ worked closely with partners to lead the upgrade of laboratory infrastructure and procurement of equipment and consumables to develop capacity of Directorate of Veterinary Services(DVS) laboratories that are critical for rapid diagnosis, surveillance and control of priority animal diseases.
“The laboratories will definitely be a valued asset to the country and will be instrumental in attracting new scientific partners at national, regional and international levels and will be critical in the fight against animal diseases and pests that can emerge in Zimbabwe now and in the future”.
The LIPS-ZIM Project is a four-year programme funded by the European Union to the tune of 5 million Euros and aims to develop, adapt, and increase the adoption of climate-resilient technologies in livestock production and also seeks to improve disease surveillance and control technologies.
The project is being implemented in nine (9) Districts of Zimbabwe i.e. Beitbridge, Binga, Buhera, Chiredzi, Gokwe North, Gwanda, Hwange, Mutoko, and Nkayi.
The project is implemented by a consortium led by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), which partners the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT), French Agricultural Research and Cooperation Organization (CIRAD), and the University of Zimbabwe Faculty of Veterinary Sciences on behalf of the Government of Zimbabwe with the Department of Research superintending.
In attendance was Chief Bere, the Chief Director of the Directorate of Veterinary Services Dr Josphat Nyika, Ambassador of EU Jobst von Kirchmann, The country representative of CIRAD Pierre Grard, team leaders of LIPS-ZIM Consortium and various heads of government departments.