African News – 10 November 2006

Anthrax hits Caprivi game
Beware a plague of locusts
A major Moz cheese factory

 

Anthrax hits Caprivi game

ABOUT 32 WILD ANIMALS HAVE DIED of anthrax in Namibia’s Caprivi region since the end of last month, according to a senior official in the agriculture ministry. Dr Frank Chitate from the ministry’s directorate of veterinary services told The Namibian newspaper the environment ministry had informed him recently that 20 zebras, 10 elephants and two buffaloes had died of the disease in areas such as Masikili, which borders Botswana’s Chobe National Park, where the disease is believed to have originated. Dr Chitate said they believe that anthrax spread to Namibia from Botswana through animals that move openly between the two countries. No livestock deaths have been reported yet. The agriculture ministry has started a mass vaccination campaign of cattle in the area. – Staff reporter

Beware a plague of locusts

THE FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL Organisation (FAO) has called on West and North African countries to increase the level of alert against a potential desert locust threat which was recently detected in Nouakchott in northern Mauritania. FAO suspected the outbreak could have originated from undetected breeding that occurred during the past two months within that country or Mali. Locust adults are now present in Nouakchott – which received rainfall recently – where they are said to be concentrating in green vegetation and are becoming increasingly gregarious and laying eggs, the FAO said. The country has already started control operations and has treated more than 200ha of infestations. In 2004 a desert locust upsurge cause heavy damage to agriculture in several parts of West Africa which resulted in FAO spending more than R30 billion to fight the pest, the worst upsurge in 15 years. – Fidelis Zvomuya

A major Moz cheese factory

A MOZAMBICAN COMPANY HAS established a world-class cheese factory in Chimoio, Manica, one of the country’s central provinces. Brendon Evans, managing director of Gouda Gold, said the project aims to help Mozambique diversify its agricultural sector. Evans, who is also a former Zimbabwean farmer, settled in Manica in 2002. He manages a dairy and his 270-strong Holstein herd supplies the milk for the cheese factory. The project is supported by the Dutch government. – Wilma den Hartigh