Vaccine equity is as important for livestock as it is for humans

EL CASTER, SPAIN — For Helena Kindole, a 33-year-old mother of seven and poultry farmer in Chanya Village, Tanzania, one of the main obstacles to developing her chicken business was a lack of Health facilities. But not for her or her family, but for her birds.

Small-scale free-range chicken farming is often the lifeline for millions of low-income rural households that produce 80 percent of poultry in Africa. However, logistical, infrastructure and supply issues make access to veterinary services difficult across the continent, reducing the productivity of small farmers.

At the same time, rapid industrialization of the poultry sector in many industrial countries and rising food prices around the world, combined with cheap imports from more developed markets and a lack of animal health services, are creating disparities between small and large producers. equality. They threatened to bankrupt small poultry farmers.

Fortunately, this is starting to change.

The Animal Health Initiative is helping local hatcheries vaccinate chicks against common and harmful diseases before selling them to small producers who raise the chicks until they are six months old before selling them to neighbors, restaurants and other businesses.

Author: Enrique Hernandez Pando

For women like Kindole, the poultry industry provides an important source of income, and healthy animals are essential for a decent livelihood. These women make up nearly half of the global farm workforce in developing countries and sub-Saharan Africa.

Equipping small farmers with the right tools can help them succeed in competing with more industrialized production systems.

Introducing vaccination in local hatcheries can enhance the sustainability and commercial impact of small producers.

Providing these hatcheries with the necessary vaccination equipment and knowledge means they can offer their customers a high volume of chicks vaccinated against common poultry diseases such as Newcastle disease virus and infectious bronchitis. The first disease kills 60% of poultry in many African countries.

This reduces the risk of bird loss, helping to increase revenue and overall business success.

You can read the English version of this article here.

But implementing vaccination measures alone is not enough, as lack of technical support and knowledge about zoonoses and other infectious diseases affecting poultry also affects productivity.

Training in animal health practices, market development opportunities, and advice on biosafety, good management practices, etc. are also key pieces of the puzzle. Providing this helps level the playing field between large industrial hatcheries and small producers.

The Prevention (Promoting and Enabling Efficient Vaccination Now and Tomorrow) project is an example of an initiative aimed at improving poultry production for the rapidly growing African population.

In the first two years alone, the four-year initiative has delivered 159 million doses and immunized 49 million hatchling chicks. It has also trained 100 field technicians who have so far visited 2,600 farms and held more than 1,400 meetings with farmers in four sub-Saharan African countries.

As a low-input, high-output industry, the chicken industry provides many farmers with a reliable way out of poverty. Small producers can easily sell their chicks or chicks on the market because they are cheaper for consumers than beef, etc., but they also offer many other benefits.

They add value to the social fabric, are high in protein and can also directly benefit women, who in fact make up the majority of small-scale poultry farmers in developing countries.

Against the backdrop of a global cost of living crisis, record temperatures and ongoing conflict, closing the inequality gap for smallholder farmers is critical to building a sustainable future for all.

Supporting smallholders through training, animal health measures and more can help level the playing field, one smallholder at a time, as in the case of Kindole in Tanzania.

Midfielder: Midfielder / Midfielder: EG

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