In the early years, ‘low hanging fruit’ was the initial focus for product development rather than a long-term, high-impact product development portfolio. There was considerable emphasis on high-level advocacy and promoting the livestock agenda, while commercial development was not considered an area of great focus. With the recognition that product uptake presented a significant challenge, GALVmed’s strategy evolved over the course of earlier programmes.

Our work can now be best understood in two strands: product development – where a new or improved product is developed to meet the specific needs of smallholder farmers – and commercial development – using the inherent commercial value of products to make them widely and sustainably available to smallholder farmers. A broad range of support functions, such as policy and monitoring and evaluation, underpin these two strands. Functions such as finance and legal, project management and human resource management, continue to be the backbone supporting project delivery.

Over the years, the strategic approach to implementing product development and commercial development activities has evolved. Our product development work is more than ‘just’ product development. We use innovative approaches to develop new products and conduct product process improvement. These include facilitating complex consortia, such as our work on the Tryps programme. We often facilitate public–private, north–south partnerships, leverage intellectual property and technology transfer and use innovative mechanisms for increasing investment in product development, such as the AgResults-led Brucellosis Vaccine Prize – a USD 30 million prize competition inviting vaccine developers to develop a suitable vaccine for use against Brucella melitensis in small ruminants in developing countries.

In commercial development, our work began with small-scale pilot projects to test and understand models for the delivery of key vaccines and vaccination services to livestock smallholders. As a result, our understanding of the smallholder sector developed significantly. We are still learning, but now have a broad base of experience from which to start scaling up from the earlier pilots to commercial market initiatives. Our commercial development work is not only about increasing adoption of GALVmed-supported products, it is crucially also about demonstrating that the smallholder sector is a financially viable market segment.

Underwriting all aspects of commercial development is the willingness of smallholder farmers to pay the market price for essential livestock health products. This willingness is driven by the recognition that appropriate animal health products represent a profitable investment through reduced mortality rates and increased productivity.

Economics of a vaccine

Average value of a goat
Typical PPR mortality rate
Typical cost of PPR vaccine


Very few livestock-owning smallholders operate on a purely subsistence basis. Most smallholder farmers overwhelmingly participate in the cash economy. Because we rely on smallholders paying the market pricefor animal health inputs, this is a fundamental cornerstone of our market understanding.

Livestock sales and investments