The Minister of Agriculture and Maritime Fisheries, Aziz Akhannouch, chaired, Tuesday, February 3, 2015 at the agropole of Berkane, the launch ceremony of the new National Animal Identification and Traceability System (SNIT) which will part of the implementation of the actions planned by the “Green Morocco Plan”.
In a speech on the occasion, the Minister noted that this new system will make it possible to reinforce the effectiveness of animal health and reproduction programs, as well as guaranteeing the traceability and monitoring of animal movements in all regions of Morocco and at market level, thus contributing to the fight against animal trafficking. This program, which required an envelope of 120 million dirhams, will also make it possible to trace animal products or products of animal origin, which will contribute to their development and their promotion for export, in particular to European Union countries. he added.
The implementation of the program will be done gradually, said the Minister, noting that the first phase of the program will concern cattle and camels before being generalized to other species, in accordance with the laws in force.
After emphasizing that the success of this national program will have a positive impact on the development of the livestock sector and related industries, Mr. Akhannouch called on all stakeholders, including professionals, agricultural chambers, administrative services and local authorities, to spare no effort to guarantee the implementation of this program under the best conditions. This program, the first of its kind in North Africa, uses an innovative technology, based on the identification of animals by electronic tags that operate by radio frequency.
Cattle and camels are the first animal species concerned by this identification program, and each animal will wear a pair of tags bearing a number and an activated electronic chip, read by an electronic tag reader. The data concerning the identified animal and its owner are recorded on the reader and transmitted to the national identification database.
On the sidelines of the launching ceremony of this program, which took place in the presence of the Wali of the Eastern region, Mr. Mohamed Mhidia, the governor of the province of Berkane, Mr. Abdelhak Haoudi, central directors and representatives, local elected officials and professionals in the sector, three agreements were signed with the Moroccan Interprofessional Milk Federation (FIMALAIT), the Interprofessional Red Meat Federation (FIVIAR) and the National Order of Veterinarians. These agreements define the framework and the general conditions governing partnership and cooperation relations for the identification of cattle through the implementation of the SNIT as well as the commitments of each party. They aim to ensure the identification of all the bovine herd according to the SNIT, to guarantee the traceability and the follow-up of the movements of the bovines and to have a national database on the identified bovines and on the breeding of the bovines making it possible to ensure their sanitary and zootechnical monitoring.
On the sidelines of the day, Mr. Akhannouch made a field visit to a number of agricultural projects, including a visit to a cheese manufacturing unit and a citrus packing station. He also proceeded to launch the construction works of a livestock feed unit. The Minister also attended at a breeding farm the identification operation on several species of cattle and camels.