March 6, 2023


Zoetis secures grant to advance sustainable livestock production in Sub-Saharan Africa



Zoetis has received a US$15.3 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to further develop and integrate innovative solutions to advance veterinary care and diagnostic services that will ultimately improve livestock health and productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa.


The grant will help the company to expand its original African Livestock Productivity and Health Advancement (ALPHA) initiative to include aquaculture in addition to cattle, poultry and swine in an additional seven countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.


Part of Zoetis' Driven to Care long-term sustainability commitments, the new five-year African Livestock Productivity and Health Advancement Plus (ALPHA Plus) initiative aims to improve veterinary health and food security in some of the most rapidly developing regions in the world.


This new funding, part of the "Innovative Animal Health Models for Small-Scale Producers" grant, 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.


"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, chief executive officer of Zoetis. "The combination of Zoetis' leadership in animal health and experience in forging broad collaborations in emerging markets will allow us to accelerate the advancement of animal health in the region.


 "Access to medicines and technology will help farmers raise healthier animals, improve productivity and secure more sustainable revenue, which is critical to the economic development and well-being of the region and its population."


ALPHA Plus will focus on dairy and beef production, poultry and aquaculture in Ethiopia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda and now extend to include Kenya, Ivory Coast and five additional markets from East, West and Central Sub-Saharan Africa.


Drawing on the success of the company's first ALPHA initiative, which began in 2017 in Uganda, Nigeria and Ethiopia, and later expanded into Tanzania, the new grant will seek to further animal health and farmers' livelihoods through enhanced training – with a target to train 100,000 stakeholders by 2025. There will be a strong focus on gender diversity, including women-led, female-only training courses optimally designed to maximise attendance.


The grant will also enable Zoetis to further develop distribution and training models for ‘last mile' networks, build disease diagnostic services through laboratory networks in cooperation with public and private local partners, as well as develop outcomes research and digital services.


Expanding and improving access to veterinary medicines, vaccines and services are essential for animal health, nutrition and an inclusive, sustainable economy – and therefore a key pillar of the initiative, Zoetis said.


Through the initiative, the company will explore opportunities to accelerate and increase fish production in Lake Victoria and Lake Volta, using expertise through its aquatic health business PHARMAQ to help understand the veterinary and productivity requirements of small-scale fish producers in Sub-Saharan Africa.


With tilapia being one of the fastest growing animal protein sources in emerging markets, facilitating its geographic expansion and scalability can have a significant, positive impact on sustainable nutrition and economic growth in the region.


Through ALPHA Plus, co-funded by Zoetis and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Zoetis will collaborate with governmental authorities, local veterinary associations, national and international NGOs, farmer associations and the public and private sector to maximise its positive impact in the region.


Over the course of the five-year programme, Zoetis will build on the progress and key learnings from the initial ALPHA initiative, to deliver a long-term sustainable business model and animal health infrastructure for livestock farmers in the wider Sub-Saharan Africa region.


- Zoetis

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