The US-based Elanco Animal Health, a division of Eli Lilly and Company has announced that it has received a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to provide sustainable development solutions to address food insecurity in East Africa.

The commitment will work to improve animal health and productivity in dairy herds and poultry flocks for smallholder farms in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

Elanco received the $2.86 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to enable the registration and distribution of high-quality veterinary products, in conjunction with training initiatives for smallholder farmers to assist with improved animal health practices as well as disease prevention and treatment.

At the moment, Livestock diseases remain a threat to achieving food security and are a source of economic losses for people who depend on livestock for their livelihood.

Beatrice Wanjiku, a smallholder poultry farmer in Thika, Kenya, realizes the challenges of disease prevalence, noting, “My main challenge has been mycoplasma (infection), where the birds would develop the condition at three months (old). This would eventually lead to a drop in production.”

The President of Elanco Animal Health, Jeffrey N. Simons says the grants “will further advance our vision by improving the lives of smallholder farmers through sustainable livestock production.”

“We are committed to addressing global hunger by supporting efforts that ensure nutritious food is accessible and affordable to all,” said Simmons.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 32 percent of the people in East Africa are undernourished and 40 percent of those living in sub-Saharan Africa are living on less than $1.25 per day

“The more people with whom we can share our knowledge and expertise and provide access to products, the more impact we can have on their animals,” said Comfort Phiri, Elanco business unit manager for Sub-Saharan Africa.

“Since this education translates into positive impacts on farmers and their families for many generations, it’s a privilege for me to be on this team and to have the opportunity to do social good and business good.”

Elanco provides comprehensive products and knowledge services to improve animal health and food-animal production in more than 70 countries around the world.

Founded in 1954, Elanco is a division of Eli Lilly and Company. Our worldwide headquarters and research facilities are located in Greenfield, Indiana.

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