Community vaccinator and poultry farmer Miraji Athumani Mohamed

The following story is provided by Mary Young at the KYEEMA Foundation. Two decades ago, ACIAR and AusAID funded research into developing and using thermotolerant vaccines to protect poultry against Newcastle disease (ND). The ND (I-2) vaccine has been rolled out in many countries around the world. This work has delivered exceptionally high socio-economic returns and outcomes on the ground. This is one story in a small collection of impacts on smallholder farmers in Singida, Tanzania.

Miraji Athumani Mohamed

Mr Miraji is a Community Vaccinator from Musungua in Singida. He was nominated by the villagers in the sub-village, met the criteria for selection and accepted the nomination. As a Community Vaccinator, Mr Maraji has learned about disease control, especially ND, poultry husbandry including compounding feeds, and chicken house construction. The Community Vaccinators are a source of information for other farmers, gaining their knowledge from the village Extension Officers and other experienced farmers. Although his sub-village is small, Mr Miraji usually vaccinates 700 to 800 birds per campaign in around 60 households.

There have been no ND outbreaks in the area since the vaccination campaigns started. Before vaccination there were no goals to keeping chickens; it was almost impossible to rear chicks and farmers lost many birds. Now poultry keepers have goals and a ‘commercial outlook’; they can rear chicks, they grow well and there is increased income from chicks.

Mr Miraji on his farm. (Photo Credit: M Young KYEEMA)

He is happy as a CV and gains many benefits. He is assisting the neighbourhood, vaccinates his own 30 to 40 chickens, is surrounded by friends and enjoys spreading the benefits to others. He realises good profits from his poultry.

“Within a short time interval, the benefits of vaccinating poultry against Newcastle disease have been immense. I have been able to sell chickens throughout the year as the number of deaths has decreased tremendously and now the main deaths have been from natural causes that do not affect my income at all.

Apart from selling two goats last year, I now have five goats that I was able to obtain through selling my healthy chickens at reasonable prices. My children are able to receive the basic necessities and schooling requirements. I extend my deepest gratitude to the campaign team and may it continue so as to develop us further.”