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Drive To Increase Food Security In East Africa Through Farmer Training

Picture: Francis Ngumba

Elanco Animal Health Incorporated (NYSE: ELAN) recently advanced on its 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.  For Dr. Radko, sharing his technical expertise is a way to contribute to tackle the food security challenge, by improving sustainable poultry production in East Africa.

Poultry Farmers; Photo: FRANCIS NGUMBA

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

Salmonellosis and Mycoplasma in poultry are clear examples of the challenges farmers face with reduction in the supply of high-quality protein and related significant financial losses. “I am humbled and excited to be able to share my contribution through the EAGA project and help increase supply to meet demand and provide it sustainably and safely for people who depend on livestock for their livelihood,” Radko adds.

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’s Dr. Dmytro Radko (left) and Dr. Josiah Mandieka, MD Ultimate Vetserve, at a training session with local poultry farmers.

Elanco and Ultimate Vetserve Limited also led a meeting with key 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. 

Dr. Josiah Mandieka, MD Ultimate Vetserve Limited said: “Farmers in Kenya face a number of challenges ranging from animal diseases right through to operational and marketing issues. There is also a shortage of laboratories able to diagnose the diseases they face every day. Through EAGA, together with Elanco we assist farmers to overcome these challenges with training and education on how to prevent, manage and treat such diseases through vaccination, the use of appropriate animal health products and appropriate farm management programs.” 

Elanco’s EAGA is a ground-breaking project to provide sustainable development solutions to address food insecurity in East African countries – Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. This is Elanco’s first pure ‘Shared Value’ project, which is made possible through a $3.1million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation.  The grant enables the registration, manufacturing and distribution of affordable high-quality veterinary products, along with intensive training initiatives for smallholder farmers and channel partners.

Elanco’s goal through EAGA is to train 12 000 farmers, treat 1.1 million cows and 16 million chickens and enable more than 240,000 dairy and poultry smallholder farmers to access small-sized quality veterinary products by 2020. The grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation further helps achieve this goal of improving the lives and productivity of smallholder farmers through sustainable livestock production.

Learn more about Elanco’s commitment to the EAGA Shared Value project at

African Union Interafrican Bureau for Animal resources (AU-IBAR). Impact of livestock diseases in Africa. Published on 25 January 2013. Accessed on 1st October 2018 on

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