Business

Initiative to boost small-scale livestock farmers unveiled

The Global Alliance for Livestock Veterinary Medicines (GALVmed) has partnered with Elanco Animal Health to launch a new initiative to manage ticks and tick-borne diseases in Africa. MAHABA (Managing Animal Health and Acaricides for a Better Africa) aims to support small-scale producers in Nigeria and Uganda by defining and implementing strategies to effectively control tick infestations in cattle. Elanco brings a comprehensive acaricide portfolio in affordable small pack sizes together with expertise on tick control to local livestock producers. Additionally, Elanco commits to bringing its comprehensive product portfolio for cattle and poultry to Nigeria, opening a new market for the company. GALVmed on the other hand, will leverage its practical knowledge and understanding of the small-scale livestock producer sector to contribute to the initiative’s outcome of increasing uptake of improved products, services and practices by small-scale producers.

“We are excited to collaborate with Elanco to enable access and proper use of high-quality acaricides and innovative tools that empower small-scale producers to successfully tackle the impact of ticks as well as prevent tick-borne diseases. This will help farmers raise healthier animals, grow their farms’ efficiency and output and eventually allows them to make better returns on their investments,” said Carolin Schumacher, GALVmed’s Chief Executive Officer. Building on the success of Elanco’s first shared value initiative in East Africa, East Africa Growth Accelerator, the new initiative will provide local cattle farmers with innovative solutions that help address current acaricide resistance issues. The initiative is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

“At Elanco, our relentless commitment to making a positive change in the world is core to our purpose. We are proud to continue delivering an important contribution to African livestock communities, improving animal health and food security for local families. That’s why we are continuing to drive our shared value blueprint and look forward to expanding our impact on small farming operations,” said Ramiro Cabral, executive vice president and president of Elanco International. Livestock farming is an important part of securing the livelihoods of communities in Sub-Saharan Africa, providing nutritious food for growing populations and an essential source of income.

Yet, an estimated 80% of cattle in Nigeria and up to 98% of cattle in Uganda are infested with ticks, threatening the health and welfare of animals, decreasing animal productivity and posing a heavy economic burden on livestock keepers. Applying acaricides is currently the only viable option to prevent tick infestations, however, available treatment options are often unaffordable. Besides, misuse of products may lead to resistance or even treatment failures. Through MAHABA, the partnership brings new means to control tick infestations, preventing loss of livestock productivity and making an important contribution to sustainable food production in the region.

 

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