Norwegian development cooperation work is strengthened within animal health and safe food

The Norwegian Veterinary Institute and Norad have entered into a framework agreement for collaboration to strengthen Norwegian international development cooperation within animal health, fish health and safe food.

The Norwegian Veterinary Institute has signed a cooperation agreement with the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation – Norad – to contribute with expertise in Norad’s Knowledge Bank. Many low-income countries are increasingly asking for Norwegian expertise in topics related to food safety and animal/fish health. The Knowledge Bank (Kunnskapsbanken) is Norad's system for cooperation between institutions in Norway and developing countries and includes the cooperation program "Fish for Development" and the upcoming new program "Agriculture for Development".

 - The new agreement makes important resources in a wide range of disciplines available to the Knowledge Bank and our partners in developing countries, says Norad’s Director General Bård Vegar Solhjell.

Sustainable food systems

Last year, the Norwegian government presented its action plan for sustainable food systems. The plan provides direction for Norad's work in the Knowledge Bank in areas where the Norwegian Veterinary Institute has scientific expertise and a long tradition for national and international cooperation.

- The Norwegian Veterinary Institute has expertise and experience that will contribute to improving animal health, fish health and safe food, also outside Norway's borders. The Norwegian Veterinary Institute is therefore a key player in the implementation of the Government's action plan for sustainable food systems, says the Norwegian Minister of Agriculture and Food Olaug Bollestad.

Involved in several countries

The Norwegian Veterinary Institute visited Ethiopia and Malawi this last January to discuss possible projects related to animal health and food safety. Among these topics were antibiotic resistance, sustainable growth in poultry production, milk quality and livestock diseases, zoonotic diseases and surveillance, and treatment strategies.

Norad's Fish for Development program has a long-term commitment with, among other things, aquaculture development, and the Norwegian Veterinary Institute is involved in projects in Ghana, Indonesia and Vietnam also in collaboration with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO.

- The Veterinary Institute has a long and successful collaboration with Norad. Fish for development is a good example where our knowledge on fish health and fish welfare is used in the program, says Gaute Lenvik, Director-General for the Norwegian Veterinary Institute.

- It is exciting that the Norwegian government in its action plan for sustainable food systems has identified diseases in animals and fish as one of the major risk factors for both food production and sustainable economies in many developing countries. This shows that Norad’s “Agriculture for development” program will be very important, and we look forward to collaborating within that frame as well, concluded Gaute Lenvik.

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