Vaccine-based Business Model Boosts Nigeria's Chicken Production25 November 2013
NIGERIA - Poultry farmers in not less than five states in Nigeria are now raking higher incomes from the sale of chickens, courtesy of a vaccine-based business model that has given higher survival rates to chickens in their farms.
Developed in 2012 by Agriprojects Concept International Limited, with support from Propcom Mai-karfi, the business model is designed to make a thermo-tolerant vaccine called ND-I2 available to poultry farmers in the rural areas of the country. According to Daily Independent, the vaccine has been found to be highly effective in the prevention of Newcastle, a disease that kills millions of chickens yearly in Nigeria.
The model has been implemented in a small scale in five states: Jigawa, Niger, Gombe, Nasarawa and Benue.
"Every year, millions of local chickens in Nigeria perish as a result of Newcastle disease (NCD). This crisis leads to the loss of several billions of naira. The disease is endemic in Nigeria, but only commercial farmers vaccinate their chicken against it," Dr Yila Umaru, director at Agriprojects Concept International Ltd, Kaduna, said.
ND-I2 is an indigenous vaccine produced at the National Veterinary Research Institute based in Vom, Plateau State, in response to the reoccurring incidences of NCD in Nigeria.
"Seeing the potential to improve their livelihoods, farmers are willing to pay the necessary amount to vaccinate their chickens," Dr Umaru said.
One main advantage of the ND-12 vaccine is that it is user-friendly for the rural setting and does not require a complete cold chain to keep it potent.
But Dr Umaru added: "Despite the availability of the vaccine, Newcastle disease continues to ravage local chicken stocks due to lack of access to, and low level of awareness on, the vaccine among farmers and other stakeholders."
The model, he explained, involves the sale of vaccines in local communities through Village Based Vaccinators (VBVs), a group of community-based individuals already providing some form of door-to-door veterinary services.
According to him, the VBVs were trained to vaccinate chickens in their communities for a fee, and are supervised by veterinary doctors who are agents of Agriprojects.
Explaining the role of Agriprojects, Dr Umaru said, "As the national distributor of ND-12 vaccine, Agriprojects Concept International supply products to their agents in various states, who in turn supply the products to VBVs. Both the agents and VBVs make a profit by providing this service."
In Nigeria, chickens provide a reliable source of protein in the form of eggs and meat. Selling more chickens at local markets means that women and men can buy more essentials such as medicines, clothes, foodstuffs, among others, according the project’s director, who said, "by boosting local income, this vaccination project is alleviating poverty as well as enhancing food security and nutrition in the rural communities."
Dr Umaru, who spoke on further plans to make this model available to more farmers in Nigeria, said: "After reviewing the report from the field activity, we want to leverage our distribution channels to make this vaccine available to more people in rural areas across the country. Our company plans to expand its activity nationwide to ensure that more rural chickens are protected against Newcastle disease. With the vaccine, Nigeria can beat Newcastle disease."
Find out more information on Newcastle disease by clicking here.