The expanded phase of National Programme for Food Security (NPFS) started in the year 2006 and is expected to be completed by the year 2015. Animal Production Health is a sub-component of the NPFS. The sub-component is responsible for addressing limiting factors to profitable small-scale rural livestock/poultry enterprises at NPFS operation sites and outreach areas. The Animal Health aspect of the programme is concerned mainly with improving access to a cost-effective animal health services to enhance the profitability of small-scale rural livestock enterprises. Toward this end, a community based approach has been adopted as the most viable strategy to disease control and surveillance among rural based small-holder livestock/poultry farmers. Hence, Animal Health under NPFS is mainly concerned with implementation of activities related to community based Animal Health Delivery Services.
INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS FOR PROGRAMME IMPLEMENTATION:
The Programme is being implemented jointly by the Federal Government (NPFS National Office, Abuja) and States/Local Governments (Agricultural Development Projects (ADPs). The funds for the implementation of the programme comes from variety of sources and it includes counterpart funds from the three tiers of governments (Federal, States and Local Governments). Other sources include international donor agencies such as African Development Bank and Islamic Development Bank. There is also a technical backstopping support from FAO of UN.
The community based approach to a cost-effective animal health delivery services will be realized through four main outputs/activities namely:
i. Introduction of Community Animal Health Worker’s (CAHW) scheme whereby an interested member of a rural community with experience in animal husbandry/ethno veterinary practice is selected by the community to under go training in first Aid Veterinary practice at a recognized veterinary college for a period lasting 6 – 8 weeks and returns to the community at the end of training to provide services in the area of primary veterinary health care on cost effective basis. The programme will provide the necessary trainings and veterinary kits to the prospective member of the community to enable him establish a viable rural veterinary practice.
ii. Support to private animal Health Service provider (AHSP) willing to set up a rural veterinary practice at NPFS operation sites and outreach areas. The AHSP who must be either a registered private veterinarian or Animal Health technicians (para-vet) will receive support from the programme in forms of refresher courses and soft loans to enable them offer cost-effective services which is beyond the technical competence of CAHW. In addition, they will be charged with the additional responsibility of supervising the activities of CAHW at NPFS operation sites and its outreach areas.
iii. Training of livestock/poultry farmer groups willing to participate in areas of Animal diseases recognition, surveillance and reporting to ensure that every field events in disease outbreaks is promptly recognized and reported to appropriate authorities which will take necessary action to contain its spread. The programme will provide support in training interested farmer group as well as provide epidemiology kits for sample collection and preservations.
iv. Provision of veterinary infrastructure. The programme will rehabilitate and equip at least (1 No.) rural veterinary clinic to serve as reference center for the operators of community based Animal Health delivery scheme in its operation areas to enhance their efficiency and effectiveness.