Global animal health company launches the co-funding with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Kenya to advance the health and productivity of dairy, beef, poultry and fish producers in seven new countries in Sub-Saharan Africa
Key local stakeholders representing the veterinary and farming sector, have met in Nairobi, Kenya, today for Zoetis’ new African Livestock Productivity and Health Advancement Plus (A.L.P.H.A. Plus) initiative, a continuation of the A.L.P.H.A. initiative first launched in 2017. This first event in Kenya marks the significant progress made on the continent as the company prepares to expand its support, with the $15.3 million Innovative Animal Health Models for Small-Scale Producers grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation received in March 2023.
Kenya Ministry of Agriculture’s Principal Secretary, State Department of Livestock Development Harry Kimtai said, “We are happy to have A.L.P.H.A. Plus here with us in the next five years and possibly beyond. We know that your presence in other countries before has contributed immensely to the development of the livestock industry thereby improving livelihoods. We trust that your presence here in Kenya will have a similar impact on the livelihoods of our people.”
The event included a roundtable discussion and speakers focusing on how collaboration can ensure sustainability of veterinary services to livestock farmers in the regions. It explored the potential for public-private partnerships to improve local economies, ways to improve the distribution of veterinary products to the last mile and improved access to trainings and services to female veterinarians and farmers.
“We are very proud to continue our support on the continent, and having the opportunity to bring our local stakeholders together to discuss innovative ideas is invaluable for advancing our productivity. The new target is to train 100,000 stakeholders by 2025, and it is extremely important that we continue to focus on gender diversity to improve the livelihoods of women within these regions,” said Drees Beekman, Senior Vice President Eastern Europe, Middle-East and Africa of Zoetis.
As part of the company’s Driven to Care long-term sustainability commitments, the new five-year plan focuses on improving veterinary health and food security in some of the most rapidly developing regions in the world. A.L.P.H.A. Plus will include aquaculture in addition to dairy, beef, poultry and fish producers in Ethiopia Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, and now extended to include Kenya, Ivory coast and five additional markets from East, West and Central Sub-Saharan Africa.
As with the first initiative, gender diversity is a strong focus for this grant, with Zoetis looking to specifically develop opportunities for female farmers. Using expertise gained from the first A.L.P.H.A. initiative, which saw 26,000 farmers, veterinarians and para-veterinarians trained in veterinary care (approximately 30% whom were women), funding will be utilized to further develop women-led, female-only training courses optimally designed to maximise attendance.
Scaling up fish production in the region is another key objective for Zoetis, which is exploring opportunities in Lake Victoria and Lake Volta, using knowledge backed by its aquatic health business PHARMAQ to help understand the veterinary and productivity requirements of small-scale fish producers in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The first A.L.P.H.A initiative, launched in 2017, helped to establish sustainable veterinary care in Uganda, Nigeria, Tanzania and Ethiopia over the course of five years. It saw more than 128 million animals treated, 91 innovative veterinary products made commercially available, and helped open 16 diagnostic laboratories.