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Founder of innovative African veterinary service hailed as leading Social Entrepreneur

30 March 2015

Dr Christie Peacock, former Chief Executive of Farm Africa and founder and Chairman of SIDAI Africa, has been awarded a prestigious Social Entrepreneur Award by the Schwab Foundation. SIDAI Africa is a network of high quality veterinary services serving pastoralists and smallholder farmers in Kenya – groups that are not served adequately by the public or private sector.

SIDAI is the product of Dr Peacock’s decades of service to African farmers. Studying agriculture at the University of Reading, her first visit to remote northern Kenya to study nomadic pastoralists inspired her PhD research on the Maasai, one of the first systematic studies of traditional sheep and goat management practices in Africa.

In a male dominated environment, she was especially interested in the role of women. In 1988, with a year’s funding from Band Aid, she established Farm Africa’s first goat project in Ethiopia, providing widows with cross bred goats, giving families a much-needed source of nutrition and an asset to sell in times of trouble. She persuaded the Ethiopian Director of Veterinary Services to allow her to train women as community animal health workers to provide basic care to the goats. The success of the model resulted in similar projects being developed by Farm Africa and other agencies.

Dr Peacock continued to work for Farm Africa, becoming Chief Executive in 1999. Under her leadership the organisation grew into a highly-regarded, professional organisation with an annual income of £8 million, working in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. In 2010 Dr Peacock stepped down as Chief Executive to establish SIDAI – the two organisations continue to have close and supportive relations.

 SIDAI (which means “good” in the Maasai language) is a social enterprise. It is establishing a network of centres to provide high-quality affordable livestock services in rural Kenya. Each centre is owned and managed by qualified professionals and provides quality animal husbandry and health services to farmers and pastoralists. The aim is to have 150 franchises across Kenya. There is a strong emphasis on preventative healthcare and good livestock management.

In 2014 Dr Peacock was awarded a CBE for her services to improve the lives of Africa’s poorest and most isolated farmers. From the beginning women have been a major focus of her work, as farmers, as trainers and as suppliers of services, 

Nigel Harris, CEO of Farm Africa says:

Farm Africa is delighted to congratulate Dr Christie Peacock on her award from the Schwab Foundation as one of their chosen Social Entrepreneurs for 2015. This is a most deserved recognition of the continued impact and growth of Sidai Africa Ltd, a commercial business which is providing high-quality livestock service in rural Kenya, and which draws on more than two decades of Farm Africa’s practical experience of establishing sustainable livestock services.”

Ends 

Photos of Dr Peacock and Farm Africa livestock projects are available on request.

Notes to Editor:

About Farm Africa

Farm Africa supports farmers living at subsistence level, constantly at risk of crop failure, to build food and income security so that they can grow a better and reliable future for their families.

By focusing on ‘climate smart’ agricultural and forestry techniques, building market links and adding value to production, Farm Africa unleashes the entrepreneurial abilities of the farmers and rural communities they work with.

This is the time to turn challenge into opportunity for African farmers. Farm Africa believes passionately that smallholders can and will play a key role in achieving rural prosperity in Africa.

For further information on our work, please visit:  www.farmafrica.org

About SIDAI

SIDAI is creating a network of branded, quality-assured, livestock service centres owned and managed by qualified livestock professionals operating under a franchise agreement. These outlets stock quality products and offer quality services to farmers, providing them with a genuine choice in the market. Farmers can therefore have the knowledge, products and services they need to look after their livestock, improve their production and increase income levels.

For more information on SIDAI’s work, please visit:  http://www.sidai.com/

For more information, please contact: 

Farm Africa Press Office:

Kaye Stearman: 020 7841 5156 / kayes@farmafrica.org