The Global Alliance for Livestock Veterinary Medicines (GALVmed) has announced partnerships with three animal health companies in West Africa in a bid to accelerate improved availability of animal health medicines and vaccines to smallholder farmers in the region. The three new partners are Cowtribe (Ghana and Nigeria), LAPROVET (Senegal) and Afrivet (Cote d'Ivoire).
Livestock disease remains a critical constraint for smallholders in Africa. It is estimated that the cost of livestock disease in Africa alone exceeds $9 billion per annum, not including productivity losses or human health impacts. Furthermore, smallholder farmers are more vulnerable, losing at least 25 percent of their livestock every year. This is because they have higher exposure to disease risks and have less capacity to cope when outbreaks occur. Providing access to veterinary products to prevent these diseases will significantly help reduce losses, improve the livelihood of smallholders and increase availability of affordable animal protein for populations in Africa.
These new partnerships will address weak distribution channels and create reliable supply of high-quality livestock health products, enabling millions of smallholders in the region to access a basic portfolio of essential animal health products and benefit from significant productivity and livelihood improvement.
In Ghana and Nigeria, GALVmed has partnered with Cowtribe, Africa's first cloud-based, animal health product distribution company, based in Ghana. Cowtribe leverages mobile technology and cloud computing to simplify the supply chain and deliver reliable animal vaccines and other animal health products to farmers in underserved communities. This partnership will see Cowtribe expand into the upstream sector focusing on the importation, wholesaling, and distribution of animal health products to smallholder farmers in Ghana, with subsequent expansion to Nigeria. Nearly 2 million smallholders in both countries are expected to benefit from this innovative distribution model within a period of 5 years.
“Cowtribe’s mission has always been to make life-saving animal vaccines and preventive veterinary care accessible and affordable to farmers at the very last mile in Africa by leveraging the power of technology. We have developed a low-cost, tech-enabled solution that disintermediates the current inefficient supply chains and provides a novel, dedicated supply channel to directly reach smallholder farmers in the remotest places in Africa with quality and reliable livestock inputs,” said Cowtribe’s Chief Executive, Peter Awin.
In Senegal, GALVmed’s partnership with LAPROVET aims at improving the distribution of quality veterinary products by strengthening the importation and wholesale component of the value chain, supporting private animal health professionals in both retail and technical follow-up aspects and training and sensitizing emerging poultry farmers on the best prophylaxis measures.
Dr. Guillaume Remond the General Manager at LAPROVETsaid, “We expect important positive outcomes for smallholders such as the reduction of shortages of key veterinary products and the improvement of their farms’ productivity by avoiding economic losses caused by infectious diseases.”
And in Cote d'Ivoire, GALVmed is working with Afrivet to deliver animal health products to smallholder farmers in the country. This will be undertaken jointly with a co-operative group of private sector veterinarians and para veterinarians. It is Afrivet’s philosophy and business model that focuses on ensuring the buyers of its products have the necessary skills to extract the maximum benefit of their purchase that led to this choice.
“We embrace collaboration, and proudly work with a network of national and multinational institutes and understand local conditions, diseases and problems that are too small for the global companies to be concerned with, but are critical for farmers and stock owners in Africa,” says Dr Peter Oberem, CEO and founder of Afrivet, “our locally and internationally developed and tested solutions, including world-firsts, will prevent and treat diseases, and promote food security and safety in Cote d'Ivoire.”
GALVmed’s Commercial Director, Rick Manlove noted, “GALVmed is committed to accelerating the availability and adoption of high-quality veterinary products that are beneficial for the smallholder farmers in rural areas throughout Africa.”
The new projects are part of GALVmed’s Commercial Development activity aimed at establishing profitable large-scale distribution systems providing access to animal health products and services for small-scale livestock keepers in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. It is hoped such initiatives will pave the way for further investment in the small-scale livestock sector by animal health companies resulting in large scale positive economic impact.