The governments of Mozambique and Zimbabwe have signed a cooperation agreement to combat disease in agriculture and livestock and coordinate the movement of animals between the two countries to improve biosecurity, writes the daily Mozambique newspaper.

Agreement for better biosecurity

The agreement strengthens coordination mechanisms in the control of diseases and pests in cattle and crops, as well as the movement of animals across the long common border.

Mozambique’s minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Higino de Marrule, and his Zimbabwean counterpart, minister of Land, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Resettlement, Perrance Shiri, undertook to share information and set up joint monitoring and discussion committees.

Working together for the better of agriculture

De Marrule noted that the understanding foresees the two countries, which share an extensive border, establishing joint pest monitoring committees. This will facilitate the exchange of information on outbreaks as a way to prevent and combat diseases attacking animals and food crops.

The fight against cattle theft was also highlighted. Stolen cattle are often moved across the border, and the need for a cattle marking system to facilitate the identification of animals was highlighted. Minister Marrule told reporters after the signing that cattle marking could decrease the number of clashes between cattle breeders in the border area.

He added that the parties would also work to formalise the seed circulation chain, in line with Southern African Development Community (SADC) recommendations.

Mozambique hopes to learn from Zimbabwe’s experience in seed conservation and the conservation of surpluses. Due to management failures, these surpluses often end up deteriorating, to farmers’ frustration.

Much to learn from each other

Shiri said that each party had much to learn from the other and added that his team will focus on institutional capacity building. This alongside the eradication of plant and animal diseases and pests along the common border.

He also wished to foster private sector trade in products the two countries specialised in. He congratulated his Mozambican counterpart, stressing that it was important to work together in the face of climate change, with Cyclone Idai the most recent and catastrophic example. – Club of Mozambique