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Control of Newcastle Disease in Village Chickens

By Centre for International Economics


Between 1983 and 1992, the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) invested A$3 million in research to find a vaccine that could provide protection from Newcastle disease in chickens and be applied in village environments in developing countries. A further $160 000 was invested in follow up projects which ended in 1996. Village chickens often provide the only source of protein to poor villagers living in remote areas and Newcastle disease frequently devastates unvaccinated village flocks. The ACIAR-sponsored research was highly successful in developing a heat resistant vaccine (HRV4) which could be readily used in the field by coating it onto chicken feed. The vaccine was commercialised by an Australian company which subsequently was taken over by an American firm. Uptake of that technology has been somewhat limited to date. The capacity of poor villagers to pay for vaccine is limited, and logistical problems have been encountered in transporting and storing large quantities of vaccine-coated grain. Having perceived these problems, ACIAR sponsored further research which led to the production of a new, uncommercialised vaccine, I2. Quantities of the seed of this vaccine are now being sent to many countries, particularly in Africa. From this seed vaccine the heat resistant vaccine can be made locally and applied to chickens in drinking water or by eye drops. The results of this analysis indicate that on the basis of conservative assumptions, the benefits from the research have already outweighed the costs. In the longer term, the discounted net present value of the research is estimated at $211 million. Malaysia and Vietnam have been the major beneficiaries to date, but large benefits are also expected in Africa.Newcastle disease, chickens, poultry, vaccine, Malaysia, Vietnam, ACIAR, Australia, developing country, village, Africa, Farm Management, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Food Security and Poverty, International Development, Livestock Production/Industries, Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies, Research Methods/ Statistical Methods,

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