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March 27, 2008

Tsetse fly responsible for big farming productivity losses

Thirty seven countries in sub-Saharan Africa lose between $4b and $4.5b annually in agricultural productivity due to tsetse fly infestation, a top official disclosed recently.

Dr. William Mukani, the director of animal resources inUganda's agriculture ministry, explained that tsetse flies infest about 70% of the land surface in the country, putting 70% of the herds under threat of infection. He said the tsetse fly and non-tsetse fly-transmitted trypanosomiasis make fertile rangelands unsuitable for agricultural and animal production.

He was opening a monitoring and evaluation workshop on pan-African Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis Eradication Campaign (PATTEC) in Kampala. It was attended by delegates from Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya and Mali. Mukani said it was important to improve the livestock production and agriculture if the country was to succeed in its poverty elimination campaign.

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