Above is a sample of blackleg vaccine.
Livestock plays a very important role in the livelihoods of smallholder farmers. The contribution of livestock to livelihoods and food security in the smallholder sector is evidenced by the fact that approximately 55% of the households in the communal areas own cattle, more than 70% of goats and over 80% have chickens. Most of the livestock in Zimbabwe is owned by the smallholder sector. Over 95% of cattle were owned by the sector in 2008.
The Zimbabwe Farmers Union through the Microfinance and projects department is running a vaccination program in the eight Provinces of the country. The idea really is to avail such an important service to our farmers who ordinarily would not consider vaccinating their animals. The joint program also ensures service reach to those farmers who have few animals and find it difficult to buy their own vaccines as the vials in one bottle are usually more than they need Also requirement for the cold chain make it difficult for farmers to run this on their own.
The program is being run with the technical assistance of the Veterinary and Livestock Department and is being funded by a working capital facility from Zimbabwe Agriculture Development Trust advanced through FBC bank.. The Union has so far been vaccinating the animals for lumpy skin in certain areas, black leg (quarter evil) and blanthrax. Farmers prefer the blanthrax vaccine as it has the double effect of vaccinating against blackleg and anthrax all in one vial.