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Protecting poultry and their farmers

Photo: Farm Africa / Tara Carey Photo: Farm Africa / Tara Carey

The problem

Newcastle disease is a highly infectious disease that affects chickens and other poultry animals. Whilst some birds may only suffer a drop in egg production, many others die when the disease is present in an acute form. Both of these outcomes, however, are devastating for farmers who rely on chickens for their livelihoods.

For small-scale farmers in Tanzania, for example, an outbreak of Newcastle disease would be disastrous for their income and livelihoods.

What are we doing?

To help farmers who rely on poultry day-to-day, Farm Africa is taking part in a randomised control trial (RCT) that investigates the effects of a vaccine for Newcastle disease on the production, productivity and livelihoods of smallholder farmers in Tanzania.  

Based on a proposal set out by Oxford Policy Management (OPM), Farm Africa is implementing the RCT, training local vaccinators on how to administer the vaccine, as well as monitoring its results. The study is taking place across 150 villages in Tanzania, and will help secure the livelihoods of poultry-rearing farmers in the future. Project activities include:   

  • Facilitating meetings at every participating village, where village leaders, local livestock officers and vet centre personnel are made aware of the disease and the vaccine study.
  • Recruiting and training local community vaccinators on how to administer the vaccine.
  • Monitoring its effects and reporting all data to OPM.
  • Distributing leaflets and other information on Newcastle disease and the vaccine programme to local communities.

Work started in July 2021 and will continue until the end of 2023. The results of this RCT will help determine the best ways to effectively secure the productivity of farmers in Tanzania, who are currently threatened by the effects of Newcastle disease.

Who are we working with?

For this project, Farm Africa is subcontracted by Oxford Policy Management (OPM). With Tufts University, OPM submitted a proposal to the Global Alliance for Livestock Veterinary Medicines (GALVmed), which received funding from the UK Department for International Development (DfID).

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