Zoetis renews co-funding with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation supporting livelihoods in SSA
Global animal health company renews co-funding with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to advance the health and productivity of dairy, beef, poultry and fish producers in seven new countries in Sub-Saharan Africa
Zoetis is pleased to receive a $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 Zoetis to expand its original African Livestock Productivity and Health Advancement (A.L.P.H.A.) initiative to include aquaculture in addition to cattle, poultry, and swine in an additional seven countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Part of the company’s Driven to Care long-term sustainability commitments, the new five-year African Livestock Productivity and Health Advancement Plus (A.L.P.H.A. 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. 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,” said Kristin Peck, Chief Executive Officer of Zoetis. “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.”
A.L.P.H.A. 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 A.L.P.H.A. 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 maximize 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.
Exploring opportunities to scale up fish production in the region
Through the initiative, Zoetis 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.
As one of the most rapidly developing regions in the world, Sub-Saharan Africa is also home to some of the largest livestock populations in the world, and the highest density of impoverished livestock farmers.1 Livestock are an essential asset to rural communities, and consequently animal health is critical to achieving food security in areas of exceptionally high animal and human disease incidence.
Through A.L.P.H.A. 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 maximize its positive impact in the region.
Over the course of the five-year program, Zoetis will build on the progress and key learnings from the initial A.L.P.H.A. initiative, to deliver a long-term sustainable business model and animal health infrastructure for livestock farmers in the wider Sub-Saharan Africa region.
In October, Zoetis was named in Fortune’s 2022 Change the World list, a global ranking of the top 50 companies making a positive social impact through business practices, based on the company’s African Livestock Productivity and Health Advancement (A.L.P.H.A.) initiative. In June, Zoetis shared its 2021 Sustainability Progress Update. The company has committed to sharing updates on its sustainability activities, including progress against its Driven to Care goals, and reporting annually.