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.
Beatrice is a poultry keeper from Musungua in Singida. In addition to keeping poultry she grows crops and keeps livestock. She has faced many challenges and problems during chicken-rearing. But then the ND control programme started and this has greatly reduced the number of birds dying from ND.
“I strongly believe that the whole village does not experience ND outbreaks any more.”
There has been a very large increase in the number of chickens since ND control started and also the number of eggs produced. In the past it was common to see children in this area with swollen bellies due to kwashiorkor. Through this and the government Participatory Agricultural Development and Empowerment Project (PADEP) there is increased consumption of eggs and others without eggs are prepared to buy eggs.
Beatrice on her farm. (Photo Credit: M Young KYEEMA)
“It is very rare to see a malnourished child in the village now.”
There is also an increase in the income from sales of chickens and eggs. Through the income folk are able to pay school fees, for medical treatment, clothes and exchange for livestock especially goats.
“Through the ND control programme the problem of ND is at an end; now the challenge is fowl pox. It is causing havoc to the chickens.”