The social and economic importance of livestock in extensive pastoral systems is well known. Though livestock production is often the only source of livelihood in such systems, livestock keepers face a myriad of challenges, notably poor access to animal health services. The delivery chain for livestock services in these areas often is long and costly given the nomadic nature of the pastoralists and the expansiveness of the regions.
The animal health flagship of the new CGIAR Research Program on Livestock has identified delivery of health services as a key priority. The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), which leads the program, has partnered with TechnoServe’s Innovation in Outcome Measurement (IOM) project to pilot a study that will test innovative service delivery approaches in extensive livestock production systems.
ILRI and TechnoServe recently convened a stakeholders’ workshop to deliberate on how best to achieve sustainable livestock services. The meeting sought to identify optimal ways of implementing this study and explore possible innovative approaches of delivering animal health services. The two-day (9-10 March 2016) workshop brought together 30 participants representing stakeholders from Africa including the private sector, regulators, development agencies and professional bodies such as the Kenya Veterinary Paraprofessionals Association and the Agrochemicals Association of Kenya.
Participants deliberated on major challenges and opportunities to commercialization of animal health services in extensive systems. Experiences in running animal health services from Botswana and Mali were also shared at the meeting to see how lessons from the two countries could inform options being explored in the study. Later, participants reviewed and contributed to the design of a proposed TechnoServe-ILRI case study, and how it will contribute to the priorities of the stakeholders at the meeting.
Iain Wright, ILRI’s deputy director general for Integrated Sciences, noted that effective delivery of animal health services requires close partnership between the private and public sector. He challenged the livestock sector should learn and work with sectors such as education and human health, which are delivering services in extensive regions, especially in eastern Africa.
David Galaty, TechnoServe East Africa regional director, emphasized that sustainable delivery of livestock services in extensive production systems will require commercial solutions that transform livestock production. He said the fundamental disconnect between technology advancement and lack of access to these technologies by decision-makers in agricultural investment should be addressed enable livestock keepers participate in this tranformation.
Participants noted that the constraints and challenges facing the livestock sector are numerous and recurring. Key among the proposed solutions to this challenges was the suggested set up of cross-sector partnerships with strong linkages between private sector and government institutions.
The proposed case study, which was presented by ILRI’s Henry Kiara, will test a model where the public sector could partner with the private sector to deliver animal health services. It will evaluate whether this model is both sustainable and profitable. Participants said that involving and working with Kenya’s County governments was critical to the success of the new venture. They were hopeful that the study will also test viable ways of establishing business linkages between animal health service providers and community-based disease reporters for sustainability in managing disease outbreaks.
Results from the study will be shared with policymakers and decision-makers in the private sector. The draft of the case study will be revised to incorporate inputs from the participants at this meeting. Discussions with key partners will be held to map out an implementation plan for the study scheduled to commence in April 2017.
Download the workshop presentations:
- Delivery of animal health services in extensive livestock production systems in Kenya
- Delivery of animal health services: Opportunities and challenges in extensive systems in Botswana
- Geospatial technology in animal health delivery
- Participatory diagnostics of animal health service delivery systems in Mali