…to advance sustainable livestock production
Zoetis, the world’s leading animal health company has received a $15.3 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to further develop and integrate innovative solutions to advance veterinary care and diagnostic services.
The solutions will ultimately improve livestock health and productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa.
According to the company, the grant will help Zoetis to expand its original African Livestock Productivity and Health Advancement (A.L.P.H.A.) initiative to include aquaculture in addition to cattle, poultry, and swine in an additional seven countries Africa.
Under the new five-year African Livestock Productivity and Health Advancement Plus (A.L.P.H.A. Plus), the initiative aims to improve veterinary health and food security in some of the most rapidly developing regions in the world.
In addition, the funding, which is part of the ‘Innovative Animal Health Models for Small-Scale Producers’ grant, will accelerate access to veterinary products, services and diagnostic tools to increase the productivity of smallholder farms, with a particular focus on supporting female farmers.
“The combination of Zoetis’ leadership in animal health and experience in forging broad collaborations in emerging markets will allow us to accelerate the advancement of animal health in the region,” said Kristin Peck, Chief Executive Officer of Zoetis.
“Access to medicines and technology will help farmers raise healthier animals, improve productivity and secure more sustainable revenue, which is critical to the economic development and well-being of the region and its population.”
A.L.P.H.A. Plus will focus on dairy and beef production, poultry and aquaculture in Ethiopia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, and now extend to include Kenya, Ivory Coast and five additional markets from East, West and Central Sub-Saharan Africa.
The new grant will seek to further animal health and farmers’ livelihoods through enhanced training – with a target to train 100,000 stakeholders by 2025.
“There will be a strong focus on gender diversity, including women-led, female-only training courses optimally designed to maximize attendance. The grant will also enable Zoetis to further develop distribution and training models for ‘last mile’ networks, build disease diagnostic services through laboratory networks in cooperation with public and private local partners, as well as develop outcomes research and digital services,” said Zoetis authorities.
On the other hand, through the initiative, Zoetis will explore opportunities to accelerate and increase fish production in Lake Victoria and Lake Volta, using expertise through its aquatic health business PHARMAQ to help understand the veterinary and productivity requirements of small-scale fish producers in Sub-Saharan Africa.