Livestock farmers in Africa struggle to access good quality inputs, effective knowledge and fair markets. Regulation of the livestock input sector is very weak in Kenya, allowing unqualified people to open shops selling veterinary pharmaceuticals; many of which are counterfeit or under-strength. This leads to extensive misuse of drugs through poor diagnosis and administration of products. Drug resistance is rising sharply in anthelmintics, antibiotics, acaricides and trypanocides. Kenya is well-known for its smallholder dairy sector where competition among input retailers or `agrovets’ (both qualified and unqualified) can be intense in the urban centres but even 50km off the tarmac road, quality products and services can be hard to find. In arid and semi-arid areas donor-subsidized livestock products distort the market and inhibit the development of viable livestock service delivery businesses.
Christie Peacock, founder and executive chairman of Sidai Africa Ltd, has found ways to fill this gap. On 5 September she will be in Addis Ababa to explain how her company can provide quality livestock services for Kenyan (and possibly other African) farmers and pastoralists.
Sidai Africa Ltd aims to open access to good quality livestock services to farmers and pastoralists in Kenya. It is opening a network of 200 branded franchises across Kenya which only stock quality products and offer a full range of livestock services. Franchising offers advantages in quality control, scalability and significant economies of scale. Sidai’s buying power is already improving the profitability of Sidai franchises enabling them to offer professional services including AI, vaccination and farmer training.
Sidai is an appointed distributor of the East Coast Fever Infection and Treatment Method (ECF ITM) vaccine which is produced by ILRI and widely adopted by farmers.
The rapidly expanding Sidai network also offers the Government of Kenya veterinary department a professional partner with whom public-private partnerships can be built. For example, Sidai franchisees could be contracted to deliver vaccination services under a sanitary mandate, freeing up time and resources for government veterinarians to focus on effective regulation and strategic disease surveillance and control.
‘Livestock live talks’ is a seminar series at ILRI that aims to address livestock-related issues, mobilize external as well as in-house expertise and audiences and engage the livestock community around interdisciplinary conversations that ask hard questions and seek to refine current research concepts and practices.
All ILRI staff, partners and donors, and interested outsiders are invited. Those non-staff wanting to come, please contact Wubalem Dejene at w.dejene[at]cgiar.org (or via ILRI switchboard +251 11 617 2000) to let her know. If you would like to give one of these seminars, or have someone you would like to recommend, please contact Silvia Silvestri at s.silvestri[at]cgiar.org (or via ILRI switchboard +254 20 422 3000).