ISLAMABAD (Agencies): The Ministry of National Food Security and Research has received seed virus, cell line, and serum from the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD) France.
CIRAD is WOAH/FAO Reference Laboratory for Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR). This seed virus shall be used for production of PPR vaccine of international quality in Pakistan.
In a ceremony held on Friday at M/O National Food Security & Research, Mr. Farrukh Toirove, the FAO Deputy Representative in Pakistan, handed over the seed package valued at Euro 25,000 to the Ministry of National Food Security and Research. Syed Khalid Gardezi, Additional Secretary NFS&R thanked the FAO for supply of this seed virus and appreciated the continued support of FAO to strengthen the Animal Husbandry Commissioner’s office and National Veterinary Laboratories (NVL) and provincial livestock departments.
PPR (Peste des Petits Ruminants), also known as sheep and goat plague, has been a pervasive threat to global livestock populations, causing significant economic losses and affecting the livelihoods of millions of farmers. This is one of the trade-restrictive diseases of animals. FAO and the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH) have jointly launched a global program for the eradication of PPR by 2030. Pakistan has set its target of eradicating PPR by 2028.
The immediate benefit of this seed virus is local production of quality PPR vaccine in adequate quantity while saving the precious foreign exchange being incurred on the import of PPR vaccine. The ultimate and long-term benefits will include zero incidence of PPR disease resulting in, in turn, a net saving of Rs 60 billion being incurred as loss due to PPR disease every year in Pakistan and increasing the livelihood of the livestock farmers.
The availability of this seed virus will ensure the production of the PPR vaccine in the country by all provinces. The professional teams involved in the production of PPR vaccine from the provinces shall also be trained by CIRAD experts to improve their skills and expertise in vaccine production, storage of seed and cell lines etc. Immediate training for handling the seed and cell line shall also be imparted by NVL, Islamabad under PSDP project titled “National PPR Control and Eradication Program”.