The SADC region’s response to crop and livestock diseases is a cause for concern which experts say can be solved by investing in research, harmonising policies and mobilisation of adequate funding.

The effects of trans-boundary crop pests and animal diseases in the SADC region has created a burden to member states currently facing limited income inflows against huge budgetary requirements.

The need to harmonise crop pests and animal diseases regulatory policies by continous monitoring and control is important in solving these problems says the director of ecology at Lancaster University, Professor Ken Wilson.

However taking into account different economic status that has seen some countries managing to come up with effective mechanisms on crop pests and animal disease while other lagging behind, the principal director in the department of livestock and Veterinary Services Dr Unesu Obatulu says massive investment in research will also enable not only Zimbabwe but the SADC region in ensuring safety of crops and livestock.

While the SADC trade protocol has provided a platform for the region to focus on measures aimed at removing trade barriers, a business consultant Mr Bernard Kasekete says the protocol should include an element which put emphasis towards mobilisation of funds to mitigate crop pests and animal disease.

Agriculture is the key economic element for Zimbabwe and SADC as well as other regional nations to the extent that workable mechanisms to control, regulate and monitor threatening factors on crop and livestock will improve overall economic growth performances.