Posted by Maria Zampaglione
In 2017, Elanco received a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to provide East-African smallholder farmers with both knowledge and consistent access to reliable animal health products. Since then, Elanco has been driving its Shared Value initiative “East Africa Growth Accelerator”, EAGA, providing sustainable development solutions and addressing food insecurity in East-African countries. Hear more from Maria Zampaglione, Senior Advisor Corporate Social Responsibility.
At Elanco, we seek to make a lasting impact on the world. That’s why our employees around the world donate to and participate in charitable projects that benefit communities in which they live and work. But we believe that non-profit work alone is not enough. The key to empowering millions of people – especially poor farming communities - to lead a better life is creating a sustainable, longstanding business that helps communities improve their livelihoods in the long run.
Better animal health reduces animal mortality and poverty through increased productivity and improves diets and health of local families. With our EAGA project, we support smallholder farm operations in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda to become more productive and self-sufficient.
Our goal for this year is to further strengthen the foundation of a successful business in all three countries, benefitting both the farming communities we serve and the company’s business operations in the long term.
Until the end of 2021, our cross-functional and cross-regional team expects to provide a total of 240,000 dairy and poultry smallholder farmers in East Africa with access to high-quality veterinary medicines in adapted small pack sizes. This will benefit the health of around 1.1 million cows and 16 million chicken treated, helping smallholder farmers in the region improve their income and supporting communities become more food secure.
Collaborating with local partners, the team behind EAGA has already achieved ground-breaking results.
Over the past three years, they offered more than 1,000 trainings to smallholder farmers in the region, teaching good handling practices as well as the correct use of a range of animal health products and solutions.
As part of these educational efforts, Elanco also partnered with Farm Radio International to bring about a 13-week radio series on animal health and husbandry, which was aired via interactive radio in Northern Tanzania and reached about 4 million local livestock farmers. As shown by a survey, this directly impacted farmers’ confidence, with more than 60% of surveyed farmers changing their behaviors when using products, leading to better production results. As an outcome, more livestock keepers are now looking for expert advice on various issues as they become more knowledgeable in farming practices.
While the EAGA project was originally scheduled to terminate 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 plans to extend virtual and on-farm training offers to reach even more farming families across the three countries. Besides, we will continue to cooperate closely with local distributors in order to ensure correct handling of products along the value chain and sustain product safety and quality at all times.
About Elanco Healthy Purpose™
Elanco is committed to the idea that its business can be a unique force for good for all in society – starting with animals. Therefore, its approach to sustainability - called Elanco Healthy Purpose™ - is a framework of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) commitments focused on advancing the well-being of animals, people and the planet. In this context, Elanco issued three Healthy Purpose pledges, driving sustainable change and supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Learn more here.