Located in Pwani region to the east of Tanzania’s Dar es Salaam region, Mkuza farm is a family hatchery business which has been in operation for more than twenty years. When we visited the hatchery, employees were hard at work tending to various aspects of the business. The business mainly supplies day-old broiler and layer chicks, eggs and chicken meat across Tanzania and has a hatchery capacity of three-million day old chicks (DoC) a year.
Mary Maximambali is one of the directors of the company. She started the business with her late husband who passed away as the business was just starting its operations. She now runs the company with one of her sons. Mary says that the demand for day-old chicks has grown in Tanzania in the last few years but supply to the market remains low. Rapid population growth has increased the demand for protein rich foods like chicken and eggs, creating a demand for broilers.
Mkuza has a network of poultry farmers who buy their day-old chicks from their various distribution centers. One of the major challenges to these poultry farmers is poultry diseases, most of which are preventable through vaccination. Before the partnerships with PREVENT, Mkuza did not vaccinate the chicks at the hatchery and those who purchase have to plan their own vaccinations. The challenge, especially for small-scale farmers is that vaccinations are usually not done properly at the appropriate ages and stages in the birds’ lives thereby affecting efficacy. This could be financially crippling for a farmer, through the resulting diseases that dim return on investment.
It is for this reason that PREVENT (PRomoting and Enabling Vaccination Efficiently, Now and Tomorrow), an initiative by GALVmed and Ceva Santé Animale, has partnered with Mkuza to initiate vaccinations at the hatchery point to provide protection to the day-old chicks against major infectious poultry diseases. This will be done under the guidance of qualified veterinary officers. Mkuza sees this as a value addition to their product which will enable them to retain and attract new customer base. PREVENT has provided the necessary equipment required for the hatchery vaccinations and will improve vaccination rooms for partner hatcheries.
Speaking at the official signing of the partnership agreement, Mary said the initiative is a major boost to their business.
“I am very happy to be part of this initiative. We have witnessed that vaccinating at the hatchery is good for other businesses and to small-scale producers,” said Mary
PREVENT aims to work with medium-size hatcheries, such as Mkuza in target countries to annually distribute more than 50 million vaccinated day-old-chicks to small-scale producers. These chicks will be effectively protected against the major infectious poultry diseases thereby improving overall flock health and boosting small-scale producers’ financial prospects.
Written by Beatrice Ouma, GALVmed Senior Communications Manager