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MercyCorp Livestock CAHW Business Case Consultancy

Livestock plays a pivotal role in income generation, employment, food and nutrition security, transport, draught power, and social cohesion for several people of Northeastern Nigeria (NEN). Livestock offers a pathway out of poverty for the poor, with income multiplier effects resonating throughout the supply chain, and in non-farm sectors such as education and health. Access to animal health services, information, and better genetics inhibit the productivity potential and growth of the livestock sector. Veterinary, animal health, and productivity management make vital contributions to all stages of livestock production by reducing animal diseases and public health risks, improving levels of production, and attaining food quality and safety standards. To harness the pro-poor benefits of the rising demand for livestock production, an understanding of the primary inputs and services to support sustainable livestock production is required.

In the context of NEN, there is access to animal health professionals, and a shortage of cold chain facilities for the storage of vaccines and other medicines exist across the region. Access to practical clinical support for livestock farmers is limited, indicating a shortage of professional expertise for handling serious disease challenges. The Community Animal Health Workers (CAHWs) system has been promoted especially by NGOs as an alternative solution to providing animal health services in marginal areas`{`1`}` and there is growing evidence that the poor prefer them because of accessibility and affordability. The CAHW systems suffers two fundamental problems: a) there is no sufficient evidence that CAHW can operate at a commercially viable scale and b) the model is not fully accepted by the formal sector. This becomes a disincentive to the model consequently amplifying the problem of the poor livestock farmers especially women and youth.

Ikore is working with MercyCorp, the implementer of USAID/The Rural Resilience Activity to build a commercially viable and market-driven model for the animal health service delivery that is sellable to the existing CAHW and new entrants. The Activity also intends to generate evidence that the CAHW model benefits the growth of the livestock sector and could offer complementary services alongside the formal public and formal veterinary services, especially in the context of NEN.

Specifically,

A) Build an economic model that identifies price and service points that makes a CAHW commercially viable.

B) Present a commercially viable business model detailing proposed how the supply chain and route to market should look like.

C) Quantify the benefit that the CAHW model brings to the livestock sector;

D) Make implementable recommendations for the various stakeholders (CAHWs, Agro-vets, Vet distributors, regulators)

Ikore is designing the CAHW business case, knowing the audience/context, and assisting in developing systems geared specifically for them and implementing it.

1) Building on identified gaps, design a capacity-building strategy for CAHW, Agrovet dealers, livestock farmers other value chain actors in view to developing competitive livestock business clusters and integrating them into high-value market(s).

2) Co-lead the process of CAHWs training and certification by working with appropriate regulatory agencies like VCN.

3) Through training, field coaching, supervision, and other methods, elaborate a capacity-building program targeting CAHW, agrovet dealers, individuals, and groups. Content-wise ensure quality, relevance, and logical flow of information; engage participants and deliver content in an inspiring and useful manner, develop creative and varied facilitation/training methodologies, tapping into a range of diverse facilitation tools.

4) Conduct an organizational capacity and structure assessment of CAHW system examining its service offering and models, existing relationships, and their strength and on the basis of that develop a capacity-building plan to address key leadership, management, and institutional challenges.

5) Together with the existing CAHW develop a service package that CAHW will use to deliver commercially viable services to the livestock farmers.

6) Streamline data and information management within the CAHW system.

7) Build stable and sustainable supply chain relationships between CAHWs and leading agro vets, vet pharmacies and large-scale distributors of vet products, and farmers to ensure a reliable supply of quality vet products to CAHW members and their association if any.

8) Identifying unique capacity-building and financing needs for women CAHWs.

9) Delivering business advisory, technical and institutional strengthening support to association of CAHW through training, coaching, and mentorship. It is also possible to organize learning visits.

10) Hold regular review meetings with RRA and the CAHW leadership to assess progress, document lessons, and design adaptations.

11) Develop a stakeholder engagement and communication plan for CAHW and RRA.