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.
Mr Madai Njou
Mr Madai is from Unjangwe village in Singida. Around 10 years ago he began to keep poultry but generally kept only a few birds since they would inevitably die of ND around September or October every year. Before the project started vaccination against ND was haphazard, so there was really nothing that could be done to control ND. When the system of organised vaccination campaigns and community vaccinators was introduced, he was among the first to accept it and has seen the benefits.
Before the project Mr Madai had five chickens. Now he has 150! None of his birds have died of ND since the project started. A major part of his income is from egg sales; generally he sells no fewer than 30 eggs per day (at TZS 250 - approximately A$0.15 per egg).
Mr Madai is a progressive farmer and received training on improved poultry husbandry from the project, together with the Community Vaccinators. The training included preparing supplementary feed for the chickens, based on locally available ingredients such as bulrush millet, a major crop in the area. Mostly Mr Madai’s chickens scavenge for their food but he provides some supplementary feed prepared according to project training and also ‘grows’ termites to feed his birds.
Together with nine of his neighbours (four women and six men) he has formed a small group, each raising 50 to 100 birds to produce eggs. The group is well organised with a Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer. All group members are doing well.
Mr Madai sells eggs from his small village shop. (Photo Credit: M Young KYEEMA)
One of the benefits of being in a group is that buyers are attracted to the village to buy eggs (used mainly for hatching) and the group get a better price for their eggs. They normally also sell a lot of chickens but are now organising for sales in December when the price is high due to festivals.
Mr Madai and his neighbours are extremely thankful for the project – they remember the effects of ND from before the project and now realise the great benefits of vaccination. With vaccination, they are assured that the birds will survive and can now decide when to sell.
“We sell chickens and eggs when we want to!”
Mr Madai, his wife and father. (Photo Credit: M Young KYEEMA )
Shed adjoining Mr. Madai’s chicken run (Rough translation: ‘Eliminate poverty by rasing native chickens. Remember I-2 Newcastle disease vaccine.’) (Photo Credit: M Young KYEEMA )