East Africa Growth Accelerator

Our East Africa Growth Accelerator (EAGA) is a shared value initiative through which we open new markets while improving the lives of thousands of small dairy and poultry farmers in a sustainable way.

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In 2021, Elanco was named in the Top 20 of the FORTUNE’s Change the World list, recognizing the positive impact of its East Africa business on the livelihoods of local people.

Leveraging the intersection of business growth and social impact

Livestock disease is a significant threat to achieving food security globally. In East Africa specifically, 25 percent of livestock is currently lost due to animal illness.* 

Our EAGA initiative provides sustainable development solutions that help improve the productivity of smallholder farmers in Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda. Since 2017, our team has been registering and distributing high-quality, affordable veterinary products in adjusted small pack sizes and offering training initiatives on animal health, both of which can be difficult to receive in rural East Africa. The initiative empowers farmers to sustainably care for healthy, productive animals – and addresses food shortages in those countries. 

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Empowering smallholders to build a better future

This work has made a difference for an estimated 240,000 dairy and poultry smallholder farmers, benefiting the health of around 1.1 million cows and 16 million chickens treated with Elanco veterinary products. In addition, we also brought Elanco feed additive products to the market and help advise farmers on animal nutrition. 

Over time, our colleagues and distributor staff offered more than 1,000 trainings to smallholder farmers in the region, teaching Good Animal Husbandry Practices as well as the correct use of Elanco's products and solutions. For example, many livestock keepers used to keep their chicken in their kitchens. Through the initiative, farmers learned how to build suitable barns that protect their animals from rain or heat. They also understood the importance of cleaning water vessels and removing dung from stables to prevent infections.

Further scaling our work on driving positive change in animal husbandry, Elanco partnered with Farm Radio International and local broadcasters to reach more than 4 million smallholder farmers across Tanzania with interactive radio programs on animal disease, prevention and treatment. This resulted in approximately 60% of farmers changing behaviors to improve animal health and care.

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Shared Value with Tangible Impact

With the support of a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation® and collaborating with local partners, the team behind EAGA has achieved ground-breaking results. The benefits are systemic, improving animal welfare, eventually improving farmers’ livelihoods and supporting the growth of local communities.

The Center for Sustainability and Excellence (CSE) used the Social Return on Investment (SROI) guidelines to evaluate the socio-economic impact of the EAGA, based on stakeholder testimonies. The impact was calculated for each stakeholder category, from farmers to Elanco's distributors. Until the end of 2018, EAGA delivered a Social Return on Investment of up to 250%.​

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While the EAGA project was originally scheduled to conclude in 2020, Elanco obtained a one-year no-cost extension of the grant to sustain market access of products and ensure the last mile distribution to the farmers. This is particularly important to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on planned activities. 

Throughout 2021, the team has combined virtual and on-farm training offers to extend the reach to farming families across the three countries. Since 2020, the East-African Elanco business has been fully integrated into our African commercial operations.

Going forward, Elanco commits to expanding its shared value footprint as part of its pledge to create more resilient food systems by 2030. This will help improve the efficiency and sustainability of every farmer we work with, improve the health and welfare of 3 billion farm animals and enhance agricultural productivity and income of 250,000 dairy and poultry smallholder farmers by the end of the decade.

*African Union Interafrican Bureau for Animal resources (AU-IBAR). Impact of livestock diseases in Africa. Published on 25 January 2013. Accessed on 1st June 2018 on http://www.au-ibar.org/vacnada-livestock-diseases?showall=1&limitstart=

**The Social Return on Investment of EAGA will be reassessed by the end of 2021.

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