How one man’s dream is supporting generations

When we meet Moses Kuppa in the outskirts of Iringa town in the southern highlands of Tanzania, his chicken farm is a hive of activities. Two farm hands are busy cleaning the various poultry houses and feeding the more than two thousand chickens. Occasionally, traders arrive at his gate on motorbikes looking to purchase chickens from the farm. At 36-year-old, Moses has accomplished what many small-scale livestock producers aim to achieve, generating a steady income from their produce. But for the father of one, the journey has not been easy. Sheer hard work, passion and knowledge of his trade has contributed to his success as an entrepreneur.

Moses attending to his chicks

Moses started his chicken business back in 2013 with only a few chicks. As with any young business, there were challenges along the way, including having to deal with various poultry diseases that threatened to wipe his entire flock and cut his dreams short. But with time, he gained the knowledge and experiences needed to run a successful poultry farm. Key among the game-changers for his business is hatchery vaccinations. Moses buys his day-old chicks from Silverlands Tanzania, a hatchery that produces high quality poultry feed and day-old chicks which are then sold to smaller businesses and other farmers across the East Africa region. All day-old chicks from Silverland are fully vaccinated from various poultry diseases which gives the farmers peace of mind.

In addition, Silverlands also runs a poultry training college, and it is through these trainings that Moses learned how to properly run his business and deal with challenges such as biosecurity, which is the weakest link for many small-scale poultry farmers.

“We follow all the right processes of production that we have been taught, from feeding, vaccinations and even avoiding mixing the different ages of chickens so that there is no cross-termination.” He says.

Moses then sells his chick from seven weeks old up to nine weeks old to other smaller-scale producers and businesses around. He is what is called a mother-unit, meaning other farmers buy chicks from him to rear and sell to supermarkets, restaurants and even to neighbours for home consumption and social gatherings. By selling his chicks at such a young age, Moses saves on the cost of rearing the chicks to fully grown ages. “Other farmers sell at three months at the same price that I do but having spent a lot extra on the cost of feeds, heating and other essentials,” says Moses.

Moses talks to a trader who has come to purchase chicks from his farm

What Moses has been able to accomplish with his profits is clearly visible. He has built a big family house and at the back, he has constructed modern chicken houses that can house over 2,000 chicks, separated by ages. He also built extra rooms for his relatives who depend on him and help him on the farm.

“My house is built with income from my chicken business. I am no longer renting. Even though I double a bit on crop farming, much of my income comes from my chicken business. I also stay with my brother’s child and other family members who look up to me as their provider.” Says Moses.

Moses has built a modern family house with income from poultry business

A bigger business

But for Moses, this is just the beginning.

“I have big dreams for this business. I want to own a big enterprise and to start exporting chicks regionally. This is my long-term goal.”

In April 2021 GALVmed and animal health company Ceva Santé Animale launched PREVENT (PRomoting and Enabling Vaccination Efficiently, Now and Tomorrow), an initiative that will work with medium-size hatcheries in target countries to annually distribute more than 50 million vaccinated day-old-chicks to farmers such as Moses.

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

Case study: Strengthening farmers’ access to livestock inputs in Ghana

It is estimated that livestock disease in Africa costs more than nine billion dollars per annum (Grace et al 2015), not including productivity losses or its impact on human health. Small-scale livestock producers lose an estimated 25% of their livestock every year to diseases.

In rural areas of Ghana, the majority of small-scale livestock producers rely on small agrovet shops for products like feed, vaccines and medicines. However, supply is not always guaranteed as agrovet shops routinely run out of stock, as they have to travel to big cities like Accra or Kumasi to source products. This leaves farmers at risk of losing their livestock.

Agrovets are key in the agricultural value chain as they also provide ‘extension services’, where veterinary professionals visit farmers to treat their animals.

The Global Alliance for Livestock Veterinary Medicines (GALVmed) partnered with last mile veterinary distribution company Cowtribe Technology Ltd to create a new company called TribeCo to help agrovets keep their shops well-stocked. GALVmed is providing funding for the project, and manages the project to ensure its objectives are realised.

TribeCo sources vaccines, medicines and feed from local and international manufacturers and distributes them to a network of rural agrovets to ensure a steady supply. This is done with guidance and supervision by local veterinary officials.  Tribecovet has already signed up a number of agrovets across Ghana who are now better equipped to access products.

“Buying the products from the south [of Ghana] which was difficult for us [until] we met TribeCo. They are now doing free delivery for us. Anytime we want them they are available for us”. 

Mahamudu – Veterinary medicines dealer

TribeCo uses an app called Zhulia to simplify the supply chain and help agrovets to efficiently manage their retail services. Agrovet dealers can access products from multiple suppliers and monitor their stocks to avoid running out of products. TribeCo then delivers the product to shops.

“At first we used to get our supplies every month. But with the coming of TribeCo, when you just use the Zhulia app, when you do it in the morning by evening time your goods will arrive. I think that has helped us so much and because they bring the goods free of charge… That has helped the lives of so many farmers, both livestock and then poultry.” 

Margaret – Veterinary medicines dealer

By providing uninterrupted access to livestock health products, GALVmed expects to see a significant increase in small-scale livestock producers’ productivity by avoiding economic losses caused by infectious diseases, improved livelihoods, and availability of affordable animal protein. GALVmed will monitor the impact of the project through surveys and collection of sales data.

“With the coming of TribeCo in my life it has improved a lot the lives of farmers, because there’s decrease in disease outbreaks. This has generated into increase in productivity. It has brought money into the pocket of farmers.” 

Margaret – Veterinary medicines dealer

News by Action for Animal Health. Click here to see more case studies.

Hatchery vaccination to boost opportunities for poultry producers in Africa

Poultry is an important protein source and an asset for small-scale producers in Africa. However, losses due to preventable diseases continue to significantly impact farmers’ livelihoods and financial stability. Low poultry vaccination combined with inadequate information about circulating diseases and how to treat them form a constant barrier to production by small-scale producers (SSPs).

In April 2021 GALVmed and Ceva launched PREVENT, an initiative designed to establish an innovative and pragmatic veterinary health platform in Sub-Saharan Africa through hatchery vaccination. PREVENT will work with medium-size hatcheries in target countries to annually distribute more than 50 million vaccinated-old-chicks to SSPs. These chicks will be effectively protected against the major infectious poultry diseases thereby improving overall flock health and boosting SSPs’ financial prospects.

Apart from vaccination, there are other key elements in preventing and dealing with animal diseases, such as awareness, knowledge, adequate treatment, etc. In this understanding, the project will train and collaborate with a team of field technicians to assist and provide husbandry advice to poultry SSPs leading to best flock management practices.

PREVENT is an initiative not only focused on the clear benefits of poultry vaccination, but also set to be gender transformative. Intensification in poultry farming typically leads to erosion of the participation of women in management activities. This project will make deliberate efforts to minimise this trend in partner poultry SSPs households.

Lastly, there is a need of building knowledge on diseases that affect small-scale poultry production in scoped countries. To meet this need, an elaborate epidemiological study will be undertaken where samples will be collected at SSPs’ level for further analysis. We believe that this knowledge will not only be valuable for the project but also inform future interventions.

In a nutshell, by implementing vaccination at the level of the hatcheries, we will see an impact all the way across the value chain that will ultimately improve the sustainability of poultry production system across the target Africa countries (Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Mozambique). Healthy poultry equals more opportunities to small-scale producers, who will minimise their losses and develop their business to get a more financially secure future.

The PREVENT project was officially launched on April 7, 2021. PREVENT (PRomoting and Enabling Vaccination Efficiently, Now and Tomorrow) is a 4-year initiative in partnership with the animal health company CEVA.

Press release