Nearly 104 million people living on less than $2 a day in East Africa keep livestock . It’s a stat that underlines the crucial role these animals play in supporting rural livelihoods across sub-Saharan Africa.
And it’s a hugely varied role. Livestock animals not only bring increased economic stability to households – they also act as a cash buffer, a capital reserve, and make households more resilient through diversification.
In times of crop failures and other natural calamities, livestock may be the main source of food, adding increased food security to the list.
But in East Africa, a quarter of the animals owned by poor livestock keepers die from disease each year . Improved access to veterinary products and knowledge transfer is paramount in helping these farmers protect the animals upon whom they depend.
Through the East Africa Growth Accelerator project (EAGA)—funded by a $3.1 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation—Elanco is making its animal health products available in affordable small pack sizes for small poultry and dairy farmers in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. This makes sense, since 70% of the bulk of poultry products and 80% of the bulk of milk come from these smallholder farmers.
As part of this project, we’re also organising training for farmers, animal health professionals, distributors and veterinary support staff. We want to help farmers be more knowledgeable on animal disease, prevention and treatment, as well as on the proper use of veterinary medicines to ensure they’re as effective as possible.
Historically, Elanco has been very active in making an impact in communities around the world by helping ensure food security. In parallel to this effort, we hope to make a more sustainable impact, providing long-term solutions for poor people to access milk, eggs and meat so they are able to be well-nourished.
This is line with the One Health Approach , and with our Shared Value vision about achieving business and societal goals. The passion of Elanco employees is definitely the ultimate driver to contribute to a food secure world!
1Staal, S., and others (2009). Strategic investment in livestock development as a vehicle for rural livelihoods. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – ILRI Knowledge Generation Project Report. Nairobi: International Livestock Research Institute.
2African Union Interafrican Bureau for Animal resources (AU-IBAR). Impact of livestock diseases in Africa. Published on 25 January 2013. Accessed on 1st June 2018 on http://www.au-ibar.org/vacnada-livestock-diseases?showall=1&limitstart=
3The One Health concept recognizes that the health of humans is connected to the health of animals and the environment. Info on http://www.cdc.gov/onehealth/about.html