22 June 2010
The European Union (EU) has launched a €1.1m project to improve the health of farm animals in Kosovo by tracking their movement, monitoring their health and upgrading identification of livestock across the country.
International consultancy, WYG, is leading a consortium under the two-year project, which aims to progress the identification, registration, control and monitoring of livestock through an integrated information system, in order to enhance animal disease control and meet regulatory traceability of animals reared for food. These improvements are needed to allow Kosovan food producers to compete in both domestic and international markets.
Keith Cook, Director, WYG International said: “The establishment of an integrated information system along with new developments and improvements to existing systems will have a significant positive affect on farmers and rural communities in Kosovo. Training staff on maintaining these systems is a key part of long-term success and progression towards becoming a more competitive sector.”
In 1999, hostilities across Kosovo caused about half of all farming families to suffer losses, destruction or damage to livestock, farm machinery and buildings, including their dwellings. As a result, the agricultural sector in Kosovo has faced strong competition from imports and now needs this investment in order to modernise the sector.
The project follows on from existing EU-funded programmes which now require further development to modernise the Kosovan farming industry, improve the veterinary control over animal health and increase trade. An upgrade of the existing system of Bovine Identification, Registration and Movement Control will extend to cover sheep, goats and pigs. Furthermore, the project will assist the Kosovo Veterinary and Food Agency (KVFA) to develop and implement an integrated Veterinary and Geographic Information System which is linked to the animal identification, registration and movement control system to allow effective management of animal health.