Technical Assistance for the Livestock Component of the EU Millennium Development Goals Program
KYEEMA is implementing the poultry vaccination component of a large European Union (EU) funded FAO sub-programme to tackle food and nutrition insecurity in Mozambique.
European Union-MDG programme
Research shows that Newcastle disease (ND) is the major constraint to chicken production in rural areas in Mozambique, causing mortalities of 50 to 100 percent of birds annually. Training of women in village poultry husbandry, particularly in health management is of paramount importance if the productivity of the birds is to be raised significantly. Household level poultry production has proven to be an activity which can contribute substantially to household food and nutrition security through direct consumption of meat and eggs as well as through improvement of household income. Farmers, usually women, are interested in increasing their poultry stocks and improve their rearing techniques on condition that appropriate vaccination against ND is available.
ND control activities in village chickens in Mozambique commenced in 1996 with a research project funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and implemented by the Mozambican National Veterinary Research Institute (INIVE), in collaboration with the National Directorate for Livestock and the National Directorate for Rural Extension. The project involved: laboratory testing of the thermotolerant vaccine I-2; field testing of the vaccine; the development of appropriate extension material; and attention to cost-recovery and cost minimisation issues. The use of thermotolerant ND vaccine is essential due to the difficult conditions in rural Mozambique where the cold chain is often absent or unreliable. The I-2 ND vaccine performed well under these adverse conditions. ACIAR provided the I-2 ND vaccine master seed free of charge to INIVE to enable local production of a ND vaccine suitable for use in village chickens. However, it became apparent that to make ND control activities sustainable, attention had to also be given to social and economic aspects of the work. Linkages with communities were facilitated by collaboration with NGOs such as VETAID, World Vision and Heifer Project International.
Since that time ND control programs using the I-2 ND vaccine have been implemented in a number of provinces and have resulted in increased chicken numbers, increased household purchasing power, increased home consumption of chicken products and increased decision-making power for women.
Experience has shown that a sustainable ND control program is composed of four essential components: an appropriate vaccine and vaccine technology; effective extension materials and methodologies that target NGO, veterinary and extension staff as well as community vaccinators and farmers; simple evaluation and monitoring systems of both technical and socio-economic indicators; and economic sustainability based on the commercialisation of the vaccine and vaccination services and the marketing of surplus chickens and eggs. A range of extension materials were produced by the project to facilitate access to key information for all those involved with ND control activities (from National Directors to farmers).
This component of the European Union-MDG program is closely linked to both the Farmer Field Schools (FFS) and the home gardens component. Participants of both FFS and home gardens (mainly women) are encouraged to improve their poultry raising and consume poultry products (including advice on how to use poultry products for complementary foods of young children). They are informed and provided with the opportunity of having their chicken vaccinated.
The project includes support to increase the production capacity of the I-2 vaccine, including its packaging in smaller vials of 50-100 doses, training of laboratory personnel, modernisation of laboratory equipment and equipment of cold storage facilities at district level.