The overall objective of the “Transforming Zimbabwe’s Animal Health and Food Safety Systems for the Future” (SAFE) project, is to transform Zimbabwe’s animal health, sanitary and phytosanitary/food safety systems for improved livestock productivity, food safety and consumer safety to enhance market access.
SAFE is aligned to the locations of the ZAGP livestock value chains and the major ports of entry into Zimbabwe.
To achieve the project objective, SAFE will focus on animal disease control and sanitary and phytosanitary and food safety services.
The project focuses on building the capacity for animal disease control and sanitary and phytosanitary food safety services in the livestock and food processing and handling sectors. The overall objective of the project is to transform Zimbabwe’s animal health and food safety systems for improved livestock productivity, food safety and consumer safety that enhance both domestic and international market access.
The SAFE project is led by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations working in partnership with the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS), in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement as well as the Department of Environmental Health (DEH) in the Ministry of Health and Child Care (MoHCC).
Following the "Farm to Fork" concept, the SAFE project is designed to implement interventions that enable the overall improvement of the environment for the value chain actors to be able to express full potential in the production of targeted animal products that meet both domestic and international quality and food safety standards. The two main areas of focus are;
Animal Disease control services. These are key for ensuring public health, animal health and welfare, and animal productivity and market access. Great attention is on strengthening the regulatory functions of the competent authority and leveraging on private sector financing to improve animal health service delivery. In particular, an animal health delivery model centered on the Animal Health and Management Centres (AHMCs) that involves private sector players will be implemented with full participation of key stakeholders. The approach is to build the capacity of the DVS structures to be better able to provide services for animal disease prevention, early detection, diagnosis and control thereby increasing productivity and quality as well as build the farmers’ confidence to pay for such services for sustainability of the system.
Food Safety services. These are critical consumer protection. Food safety measures also protect human or animal life or health from risks arising from additives, contaminants, toxins or disease-causing organisms in foods, beverages or foodstuffs. "Contaminants" include pesticide and veterinary drug residues and extraneous matter. The action recognizes the importance of food safety in ensuring food security and economic development. The main thrust of the action in respect of food safety will be strengthening institutional and regulatory capacity of the competent authorities, review of policies and regulations, and standards development and supporting the development of effective and efficient quality assurance protocols. Particular attention will be given to segregating roles and responsibilities of institutions involved in food safety regulation. The action will build on the successes of past projects and create synergies with other ongoing initiatives.