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Stakeholders call for privatisation of animal vaccine production


Stakeholders in the poultry sector have called on the federal government to ease the importation of animal vaccines and drugs into the country, even as they called for privatisation of the vaccine manufacturing unit of the Nigerian Veterinary Research Institute.

The stakeholders drawn from the Nigeria Veterinary Medical Association (NVMA); National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI); Smallholder Poultry Forum (SPF); and Zygosis Nigeria Limited, stressed the need to increase private sector investment in vaccines and biological.

This was contained in a communiqué issued yesterday, in Abuja, at the end of a one-day advocacy roundtable on poultry and palm oil, organised by the DFID-funded, Market Development in the Niger Delta (MADE) in collaboration with PropCom Mai-Karfi, and Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND).

The stakeholders stressed the need for government to increase support for NVRI, to meet poultry farmers demand for vaccines and drugs.They regretted that NVRI, which is the only domestic producer of vaccines for the entire country is unable to ensure steady supply of appropriately-sized and affordable poultry health products, especially small dose thermo tolerant vaccines targeted at small scale poultry farmers in rural areas.

NVMA Representative, Dr Oladotun Fadipe, speaking on the theme, “Past, Present and Future of Agricultural Value Chain: A Case Study of Poultry sector,” stressed the need to identify and map poultry health distribution channels across Nigeria, and trace vaccines to ensure that small doses get to smallholder farmers, instead of large commercial farmers.

To ease importation of vaccines and animal drugs into Nigeria, the stakeholders also urged government to unbundle the NAFDAC approval process, identify bottlenecks in its approval process, and increase resources dedicated to its veterinary unit, to address weak capacity and infrastructural deficiency, and reduce importation approval cycle.
Also, Representative of the Small Holder Poultry Forum, Dr Abdul Yakubu, stressed the need to provide infrastructure for maintaining a cold chain from point of origin to end farmers, through shared cold rooms for vaccines and biological.

He noted that although there is no policy limiting the involvement of private sector players in vaccine production, but there is the need for a business plan to showcase the investment benefits of domestic vaccines and biological production against importation. This will reduce the pressure on NVRI for vaccine production, leaving the Institute to focus mainly on research and innovation.


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