Poultry is the entry point for many households in Sub-Saharan Africa into the livestock sector. About 90% of households in this region rear some form of poultry. This resource is however not fully utilized because there is significant access to animal health solutions for these communities for primarily two reasons. The first is problem isdisease. The diseases of poultry can be managed by vaccination, however the currently available vaccinations on the market cannot be accessed by rural community because they require cold chain logistics for transportation and are often packaged in large indivisible packages that make them too expensive for the farmers. At BRENTEC we have developed KUKUSTAR, a vaccine against the deadly Newcastle disease that seasonally wipes out up to 80% of rural poultry. It is incurable and vaccination is the only solution for this. KUKUSTAR is able to be accessed by these rural households because it is thermal tolerant for up to 30 days at room temperature (25-35 degrees centigrade) and is packed in small divisible ready to use packages that allow the farmers to administer this vaccine themselves without the need for specialized equipment or veterinary personnel. The adoption by these farmers has seen their flock sizes grow and in some areas there hasn't been an outbreak recorded in the last calendar year. This solution alone is not enough to guarantee sustainability without tackling the second reason this resource is not utilized, education. Most of the secondary infections of poultry can be managed by practicing good poultry husbandry. We have devised a holistic training program that allows farmers to successfully manage their poultry enterprises and we routinely carry out activations at the sub-County level to train farmers and provide them with "do it yourself" tips and visual materials to make this enterprise sustainable.
Poultry keeping is usually the stepping stone that builds the confidence and allows families to engage in livestock agriculture. Farmers usually soon diversify into rearing of goats and eventually cattle. This not only solves their monetary needs but also gives them access to sources of protein for better dietary sustenance. At BRENTEC we are constantly innovating to find ways to improve access to livestock vaccines and animal health solutions for rural low income households in Africa.