Scaling up use of vaccines for goats in pastoral areas of Ethiopia
Goats are a key productive asset for rural and poor households because raising small livestock generates income and requires few inputs. Goats provide a source of milk, fiber, leather, meat, and fertilizer. They are cheaper to buy and easily sold for cash. Given the relatively low costs associated with raising goats and their suitability for household production, they are a preferred species for women smallholders across East Africa, who systematically tend to have lesser access to financial resources, land, and other productive assets than their male counterparts. As a result, diseases and other productivity factors that affect goats have been shown to have a greater impact on women than men.
Weak livestock vaccine-delivery systems keep vaccination rates low in rural areas
In Ethiopia, livestock vaccines, including those for goats and sheep, are provided and delivered by the government for free or at highly subsidized rates. However, the system suffers from major weaknesses, including insufficient veterinary services and delivery personnel in rural areas, and poor cold chain facilities, which undermine the timeliness of livestock vaccines and their uptake by rural and smallholder farmers. As a result, most pastoralists are dissatisfied with the current veterinary system, which fails to provide them with sufficient and consistent access to high-quality livestock vaccines.
Reaching more livestock smallholders through a franchise model
This IDRC-supported project is piloting a public-private partnership approach to provide livestock smallholders in rural Ethiopia with vaccines against contagious caprine pleuropneumonia (CCPP), a disease affecting sheep and goats. Using a franchising model, a batch of high-quality vaccines certified by the African Union’s Pan African Veterinary Vaccine Centre (PANVAC), along with other veterinary products for goats, will be delivered to smallholder farmers in target areas of Ethiopia. The chosen areas have the potential to become a goat-producing hub, due to their proximity to a modern large-capacity goat abattoir.
To support the delivery of vaccines and veterinary products for goats and promote the sustainability of the model, the project will also provide training to members of the franchises on how to manage an animal health product and services business. Franchises will comprise veterinarians, animal health assistants and agrovet input supplies as well as outgrower cooperatives. The project will consider issues relating to accessibility and equity in the distribution of CCPP vaccines, for women specifically, which will involve the collection of sex-disaggregated data. The project team and key collaborators who will be piloting this model will also receive gender training. The project aims to have an equal number of women and men franchisees.
Increasing the number of goats vaccinated against CCPP will contribute to improved food security and improve the livelihoods of livestock smallholders, especially women. The goal of the project is to demonstrate that a public-private franchise system can improve the availability, accessibility, and demand for CCPP vaccines and other veterinary products and services for goats. If the model can deliver vaccines and other veterinary products in a more cost-effective and efficient way than the current system, it could be scaled up across different ecological zones and for other livestock diseases. Findings from this project are also expected to inform policy and institutional reforms to help improve the delivery of livestock products and services in Ethiopia, through the integration of the private sector.
This project is led by Tufts University.
Duration: 30 months
Budget: CA$1.4 million
The project is funded through the Livestock Vaccine Innovation Fund, a partnership of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Global Affairs Canada, and IDRC.