Byline: EDU H. LOPEZ
The Italian government has granted P56 million in assistance to finance a trust fund project for the environmental animal health program in the country.
The project is aimed at strengthening the capacity of the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) and other concerned government agencies for the promotion of sustainable agricultural and rural development through environmental animal health management for enhanced smallholder livestock production.
Once operational, a project management and coordination unit will be established in at BAI which will foster a collaborative environmental animal health management network with the Philippine Carabao Centre, the National Dairy Authority, Local Government Units and other Organizations concerned with livestock development, animal disease control policy, veterinary public health including zoon issues, planning and implementation.
The project will also cooperate with Department of Agricultures Special Project Coordination and Monitoring Assistance Division.
At the end of the project, it is expected that the environmental determinants of disease emergence and spread will have been explained and that the infrastructure requirements and capability in national and sub-national are strengthened.
Staff capacity and related skills in geographical and disease risk analysis will have been enhanced at three key livestock agencies the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), Philippine Carabao Center (PC) and National Dairy Authority (NDA), as well as selected local government units (LGUs).
Staff will have been sensitized and empowered to support safer and cleaner livestock production in the Philippines, with special attention on smallholder production in rural areas.
A core component of the project will be the strengthening of a geographic information system and the development of national capacity to manage the system and expand its use as a decision support tool; examine the environmental correlates of livestock resource distribution and disease incidence; characterize and map the extent of the main ecozones or production systems; develop mathematical models to map disease risk, define hot-spots of potential disease occurrence and environmental concern; and simulate the potential impacts of disease spread under various scenarios. …