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24 June 2020

How agricultural partnerships improve lives

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Posted by Maria Zampaglione | 24/06/2020

Maria Zampaglione, Senior Advisor – Corporate Social Responsibility, explains why collaboration is critical for food security now and in future.

Agriculture is woven into the fabric of each and every community. It brings people together by putting food on our tables, keeping us healthy and creating jobs and livelihoods.

But as the global population grows, agricultural stakeholders are in agreement: we must join forces in agricultural partnerships if we are to produce enough food for our global community sustainably.

Beyond agriculture, the Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by UN Member States in 2015, called for an urgent global partnership. Its 17 ‘critical aims’ recognise that by working collectively all stakeholders, including farmers, companies, governments and civil society, can make an impact greater than the sum of its parts.

At Elanco, we asked ourselves what role we wanted to play and, perhaps most importantly, how committed we wanted to be.

We established Elanco’s Healthy Purpose™, our corporate social responsibility framework, to embody our belief that animals are key to solving some of the world’s most pressing issues. Partnerships lie at the heart of this work.

In 2017, we launched the East Africa Growth Accelerator (EAGA) with the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. To date, the initiative has provided affordable, small-sized, high quality veterinary products to 160,000 poultry and dairy farmers in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania to help keep their animals healthy and productive. Plus, it’s giving farmers the opportunity to learn about the latest animal health innovations.

In a region of the world where 25 per cent of protein from farm animals is lost due to animal disease1, keeping animals healthy is central to sustainable agriculture. So far, the impact of the initiative has been significant; for the period 2017-2018, farmers reported that their income had increased by at least 20 per cent, signalling a potential reduction in animal mortality2.

In another example, a ground-breaking approach from Elanco – in partnership with Ultravetis Tanzania and Farm Radio International – used rural farm radio in Tanzania to help educate livestock farmers on husbandry techniques. This resulted in more than 60 per cent of farmers changing their behaviour on-farm.

Educating and empowering these farmers to increase their production will contribute to local productivity and a significant reduction of poverty among smallholders. But agricultural partnerships can go even further, educating communities about the power of animal sourced protein.

Livestock disease remains a significant threat to achieving food security but we can help explore solutions. At Elanco, we are constantly looking for new ways to collaborate across sectors keeping healthy animals central to global sustainability today and tomorrow.

[1] African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal resources (AU-IBAR). Impact of livestock diseases in Africa. Published on 25 January 2013.
[2] An overview of the Social Return of Investment – CSE/Elanco


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