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If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping in a closed room with a mosquito. African proverb.

Nearly 600 million of the world’s poorest households raise animals as an essential source of income (FAO). Their domestic economy depends on the animals they raise and, access to quality medicines and veterinary services are a limiting factor in the survival of animals and ultimately to the livelihood of their families.

Although the individual contribution, in terms of production, of these small-scale producers (SSPs) is minimal, collectively, they account for the majority of the livestock’s head in Africa and South Asia. Due to the low scale, the limited purchasing capacity and large geographical dispersion, they have not been in the strategic focus of most manufacturers of veterinary products, being “neglected” by the industry without identifying the great market opportunity that they could represent.

At GALVmed we know the value of these small producers and we realise the tremendous positive impact that just access to good quality vaccines and veterinary services would have in the survival of their animals and in their domestic economies. We believe in the opportunity they represent as a collective population, not only in terms of protein’s production or poverty reduction but also about SSPs’ contribution to environmental sustainability, which is one of the biggest issues faced by mankind at present.

The world is changing at high speed, innovative approaches with the help of new technologies have managed to solve great challenges that humanity had until now. Does it make sense today to accept that the situation of these small producers cannot change?

The implementation of GALVmed’s Veterinary Innovations Transforming Animal health and Livelihoods (VITAL) initiatives is giving us confidence about the future, the confirmation that this situation could change, and new areas of investment as part of the new strategy foundation. Improvement of SSPs product availability is a realistic target and will drive better lives for millions of people.

Written by Enrique Hernández, Director, Commercial Development.