REMARKS BY MUSIKA MANAGING DIRECTOR, MR REUBEN BANDA, DURING THE LAUNCH OF THE ULTRAVETIS DIP TESTING LABORATORY IN CHILANGA

HELD ON 24TH MAY, 2016

 


 

-       THE GUEST OF HONOUR, THE PERMANENT SECRETARY IN THE MINISTRY OF LIVESTOCK AND FISHERIES – DR DAVID SHAMULENGE,

-       THE CHAIRMAN FOR ULTRAVETIS, MR WACHIRA MUREITHI

-       DISTINGUISHED INVITED GUESTS,

-       MEMBERS OF THE PRESS,

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,

MUSIKA IS DELIGHTED TO BE PART OF THIS SPECIAL OCCASION AT WHICH WE’RE WITNESSING THE LAUNCH OF THE FIRST PRIVATELY OPERATED CATTLE DIP SAMPLE TESTING LABORATORY. THIS INVESTMENT BY ULTRAVETIS DEMONSTRATES THE COMMITMENT BY THE PRIVATE SECTOR TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE GROWTH OF THE LIVESTOCK SECTOR IN ZAMBIA. AND TO US AT MUSIKA, WE VIEW THIS AS AN ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITY TO FURTHER INCREASE THE LEVELS OF PRODUCTIVITY OF SMALLHOLDER LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS, COUNTRYWIDE.

THE SUPPORT THAT MUSIKA HAS PROVIDED TO ULTRAVETIS, THROUGH OUR FUNDERS – THE SWEDISH EMBASSY IN LUSAKA AND THE UK GOVERNMENT’S DFID IN ZAMBIA – IS INTENDED TO COMPLEMENT GOVERNMENT EFFORTS IN DISEASE PREVENTION AND CONTROL ESPECIALLY AT THE LOWER END OF THE MARKET. THIS IS IN ADDITION TO SEVERAL OTHER INTERVENTIONS THAT MUSIKA HAS IMPLEMENTED WITH ITS PRIVATE SECTOR PARTNERS - INCLUDING ULTRAVETIS - AIMED AT IMPROVING ACCESS TO VETERINARY DRUGS, VETERINARY SERVICES, GENETICS AND NUTRITION PRODUCTS BY SMALLHOLDER LIVESTOCK FARMERS.

AS WE SPEAK MUSIKA, IN CONJUNCTION WITH ITS PRIVATE SECTOR PARTNERS, HAS OVER THE LAST THREE YEARS PLACED 42 SPRAY RACES INTO RURAL ZAMBIA, REPRESENTING A MAJOR CONTRIBUTION TO THE NATIONAL CATTLE DIPPING INFRASTRUCTURE. ABOUT 290 ADDITIONAL POINTS OF ACCESS TO KEY LIVESTOCK SERVICES HAVE ALSO BEEN ESTABLISHED IN THE SMALLHOLDER LIVESTOCK SECTOR OVER THE SAME PERIOD; BRINGING LIVESTOCK INFORMATION, SERVICES, AND PRODUCTS AT THE FARMERS’ DOORSTEP.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,

THE DEVELOPMENT OF A PRIVATE VETERINARY MARKET IN ZAMBIA HAS BEEN ONE OF MUSIKA’S PRIORITIES FOR SEVERAL YEARS, AS WE BELIEVE STRONGLY THAT THE SMALLHOLDER LIVESTOCK SECTOR HAS PERFORMED FAR BELOW ITS POTENTIAL WITH HIGH LEVELS OF DISEASE AND MORTALITY CRIPPLING WHAT SHOULD BE A HIGHLY VALUABLE PART OF THE SMALLHOLDER ECONOMY. WE HAVE SEEN ELSEWHERE THAT ACCESS TO GOOD QUALITY PRODUCTS, SERVICES AND INFORMATION HAVE A TREMENDOUS IMPACT ON THE PRODUCTIVITY OF THE SMALLHOLDER CATTLE HERD AND THUS ON THE LIVELIHOODS OF FARMERS BUYING THESE SERVICES.

IT IS FOR THIS REASON THAT MUSIKA HAS SUPPORTED ULTRAVETIS IN REDUCING THE BUSINESS RISKS BY SHARING OF SOME OF THE HIGH INFRASTRUCTURAL COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH THE DEVELOPMENT OF THIS FACILITY, AND ENSURING THE DEPLOYMENT OF TRAINED STAFF TASKED WITH THE RESPONSIBILITY OF PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE EXTENSION SERVICE TO RURAL FARMING COMMUNITIES.

AT THE END OF THE DAY, MUSIKA AIMS TO ACHIEVE A WIN-WIN RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE FARMERS AND OUR PRIVATE AGRIBUSINESS PARTNERS. IN THIS REGARD, OUR INTERVENTIONS IN THE VET SECTOR GO BEYOND BRINGING VETERINARY PRODUCTS AND SERVICES AT THE FARMER’S DOORSTEP, BUT ENHANCES KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER AND PRODUCT INFORMATION NECESSARY TO IMPROVE LEVELS OF PRODUCTIVITY AND INCOME FOR MANY HOUSEHOLDS.

ON BEHALF OF THE MANAGEMENT OF MUSIKA, I WISH TO COMMEND ULTRAVETIS FOR TAKING THE INITIATIVE IN ENSURING THAT LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS OF ALL KINDS – SMALLHOLDER, EMERGENT AND COMMERCIAL FARMERS AND COMMUNITIES AND COOPERATIVES ACROSS THE COUNTRY - HAVE ACCESS TO A FACILITY THAT WILL BE ABLE TO REGULARLY ANALYSE THEIR DIP WASH TO TEST ITS EFFECTIVENESS IN DISEASE PREVENTION. THIS IS TIMELY, ESPECIALLY THAT GOVERNMENT POLICY REGARDS FARM-LEVEL LIVESTOCK DISEASE CONTROL AS THE SOLE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE FARMER WHO HAPPENS TO BUY THE DRUGS, VACCINES, INPUTS AND VET SERVICES FROM THE PRIVATE SECTOR.

YOU WILL ALL AGREE WITH ME THAT THE DEVELOPMENT OF THIS FACILITY IS AN EXPRESSION OF THE COMPANY’S COMMITMENT TO SUPPORT GOVERNMENT EFFORTS IN CONTINUALLY SEEKING OUT PRACTICAL SOLUTIONS TO CHALLENGES AFFECTING THE HEALTH AND PRODUCTIVITY OF SMALLHOLDER HERDS. IT IS SAID THAT DIPPING HAS THE CAPACITY TO PREVENT OVER 80% OF CATTLE TICK BORNE DISEASES. THEREFORE, IT IS OF CRITICAL IMPORTANCE THAT FARMERS USE HIGH QUALITY DIP IN MAINTAINING A HEALTHY HERD.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,

I WISH TO MENTION HERE, THAT OUR PARTNERSHIP WITH ULTRAVETIS GOES BEYOND THE DIP TESTING LABORATORY THAT WE’RE LAUNCHING TODAY. IN MAY 2015 LAST YEAR, WE EMBARKED ON AN INTERVENTION IN WESTERN PROVINCE AIMED AT INCREASING ACCESS BY SMALLHOLDERS TO VETERINARY PRODUCTS AND SERVICES AND EQUIPPING BOTH LIVESTOCK AND POULTRY FARMERS WITH SKILLS IN PRODUCTION AND PREVENTATIVE HEALTH CARE.  

MUSIKA ASSISTED ULTRAVETIS IN REDUCING THE BUSINESS RISKS INVOLVED IN EXPLORING AND DEVELOPING THIS NEW MARKET THROUGH SHARING OF SOME OF THE HIGH COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH DEPLOYING A WELL EQUIPPED AND TRAINED VETERINARY STAFF THAT ARE NOW PROVIDING EFFECTIVE EXTENSION SERVICES TO SMALLHOLDER LIVESTOCK FARMERS ACROSS WESTERN PROVINCE.

THIS YEAR TOO, MUSIKA WILL BE SUPPORTING THE INVESTMENT BY ULTRAVETIS TO BRING IMPROVED VILLAGE CHICKEN GENETICS TO THE ZAMBIAN MARKET.

AS I CONCLUDE, I WISH TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE EFFORTS BEING MADE BY GOVERNMENT TOWARDS CREATING A CONDUCIVE ENVIRONMENT THAT PROMOTES PRIVATE SECTOR PARTICIPATION IN THE OVERALL DEVELOPMENT OF OUR COUNTRY. THIS GIVES ASSURANCE AND CONFIDENCE TO THE PRIVATE SECTOR TO INVEST IN MORE SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS THAT WILL CONTRIBUTE POSTIVELY TOWARDS POVERTY ERADICATION.  

THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS!