Dr Robyn Alders has spent over 20 years working on Australian supported work to control Newcastle Disease in chickens, providing smallholder farmers, usually women, with a source of scarce animal protein, income and pride.
Village chickens play a vital role in many poor rural households, providing protein in the form of meat and eggs, and income from sales with much of the benefit going to those who own and manage the chicken – the women and children.
The Crawford Fund recently facilitated some filming of the impact of a range of projects in Africa including ACIAR/CIMMYT's maize work, IRRI's rice and mechanisation work and a long-term Australian project, headed by Australian vet, Dr Robyn Alders, on poultry disease.
Sally Ingleton from 360 Degree Films, who produced and directed the award winning documentary "Seed Hunter" about biodiversity conservation work by Australian Ken Street, travelled to Tanzania with the Crawford Fund's Cathy Reade in a new role as production/sound assistant and a number of videos will be available to the Crawford Fund, our partners and for YouTube in the months ahead.
Dr Robyn Alders, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney & Director of the International Rural Poultry Centre, Kyeema Foundation has spent over 20 years working on Australian supported work to develop a vaccine to control Newcastle Disease in chickens, providing smallholder farmers with a source of scarce animal protein, income and pride.
In an upcoming address on her work for the Development Policy Centre at the Crawford School of Public Policy and the ANU African Studies Network, Robyn will explain that improving chicken production can provide the first step out of poverty for the rural poor. Yet, in many countries, Newcastle disease (ND) is endemic and causes high mortality in village chicken flocks on an annual basis. Robyn and the Australian aid program through AusAID and ACIAR and other donors, have worked to develop vaccines and community-based programs for the control of ND in several African and Asian countries. The results have generated a wide range of benefits well beyond the immediate impact of improving village chicken production.
As explained by one village chief, who provided the link to the rather cryptic heading for this story, with three chickens, a woman can buy a goat; with a few goats she can buy a cow and with a cow she provide her children with milk.
The video from Africa will have those African women who have been involved in the work in Tanzania explaining the work's impact.
In the meantime, the Fund organised a number of interviews on Robyn's return, which are available below, and provide a description of Robyn's work in her own words: