SUB – SAHARAN AFRICA – Zoetis, the world’s largest producer of animal medicine and vaccinations based in America, has received US$15.3 million in funding to accelerate its distribution of veterinary and health services in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).
Under the initiative called African Livestock Productivity and Health Advancement (A.L.P.H.A.) first implemented in 2017, Zoetis aims to improve livestock productivity in sub-Saharan countries where it plays a significant socio-economic role.
The company received this latest funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation according to a statement they released on 1st March.
The funding will see to the expansion of the program to cover 7 new countries in the SSA region and 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.
Drawing on the success of the company’s first A.L.P.H.A. initiative, implemented in Uganda, Nigeria, and Ethiopia, and later Tanzania, the new grant seeks to achieve the program’s objectives partly through enhanced training of 100,000 stakeholders by 2025.
Among the 7 new countries are Kenya and Cote d’Ivoire whose dairy and beef production, poultry, pig and aquaculture sectors will particularly be targeted.
“We are grateful for the grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as we live our purpose to nurture our world and humankind by advancing care for animals in Sub-Saharan Africa, expanding our work to drive greater impact,” said Kristin Peck, the CEO of Zoetis.
She communicated that the company intends to leverage their longevity and experience in animal health to forge broad collaborations in emerging markets to allow them to accelerate the advancement of animal health in the SSA region.
“Through this initiative, we will explore opportunities to accelerate and increase fish production in Lakes Victoria and Volta, using the expertise of our aquatic health company PHARMAQ to help understand veterinary and productivity requirements. small fish producers in the region,”
As animal health and nutrition are significant factors in determining and improving productivity, one of the initiative’s key pillars is to expand the region’s access to veterinary medicines, vaccines and all other services.
The SSA region harbours some of the largest livestock populations in the world and has the highest density of impoverished livestock farmers. Catering for animal health is therefore crucial in attempting to attain food security in the region.
Through A.L.P.H.A., Zoetis will collaborate with governmental authorities, local veterinary associations, national and international NGOs, farmer associations and the public and private sectors to maximize its positive impact in the region, over 5 years.
The recent partnership between the company and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has given birth to the A.L.P.H.A Plus initiative.
It intends to help Zoetis build on the progress and key learnings from the initial A.L.P.H.A. initiative, to deliver a long-term sustainable business model and animal health infrastructure for livestock farmers in the wider Sub-Saharan region.