Elanco to increase food security initiative in East Africa

Dmytro and Dr Mandieka training farmersElanco Animal Health has advanced on East Africa Growth Accelerator (EAGA) initiative in Kenya

Elanco’s Dr Dmytro Radko, a trained veterinarian and poultry technical consultant from Germany, engaged with local poultry farmers on issues of animal health as part of the EAGA initiative.

“The reality is that livestock disease remains a significant threat to achieving food security in the region. Currently, in East Africa, 25 per cent of protein from farm animals is lost due to animal illness,” said Radko.

Salmonellosis and Mycoplasma in poultry are clear examples of the challenges farmers face with a reduction in the supply of high-quality protein and related significant financial losses.

This visit relates to an ongoing plan to impart knowledge and skills as part of a train-the-trainer program, ensuring that capabilities remain within the local farming and veterinary community, and are current with changing global trends and challenges in poultry production.

Dr Radko’s visit was planned in close collaboration with Ultimate Vetserve Limited, a vaccines distributor in Kenya, and focused on assessing farms on animal husbandry and management improvement areas. Poultry farmers and animal health assistants were trained on relevant disease topics like Newcastle disease and Mycoplasmosis as well as good vaccination practices.

Elanco and Ultimate Vetserve Limited also led a meeting with major opinion leaders from Kenchic Limited, Muguku farm and the Directorate of Veterinary Services Kenya, where they particularly addressed the need for policy development to prevent Salmonellosis and Mycoplasma in poultry. These two bacterial diseases have a significant impact on animal mortality and farmer’s operations and livelihoods, as well as food safety and security in the region.

Elanco’s EAGA aims to provide sustainable development solutions to address food insecurity in East African countries such as Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. This is Elanco’s first pure ‘Shared Value’ project, which received a US$3.1mn grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Elanco’s goal through EAGA is to train 12 000 farmers, treat 1.1mn cows and 16mn chickens and enable more than 240,000 dairy and poultry smallholder farmers to access small-sized quality veterinary products by 2020.

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