Bridging the gap between demand and supply for animal vaccines and healthcare products in Africa
Africa, as a continent, is still an untapped market for immunisation of animals against diseases. Even so, it is expected to be one of the largest markets for animal vaccines in the next decade, with Tanzania having the 3rd largest herd of domestic livestock in the world. Interestingly, there are only a few vaccine manufacturers in the entire continent. We not only see this as a wonderful opportunity for growth, but also as a way to promote better health for human beings through healthier animals. Hester, with partial funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, aims to establish a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility with an emphasis on export. This unit will cater to the entire continent of Africa, with a capacity of 1.50 billion doses of animal vaccines.
Hester has formed a wholly owned subsidiary in Tanzania in the name of Hester Biosciences Africa Limited, to set up an animal vaccine manufacturing unit. Our expertise in animal healthcare will help in reducing livestock mortality and morbidity by increasing access to distribution of about ten low cost, high quality vaccines. Vaccines for diseases specific to African livestock are to be developed here, thereby addressing the unaddressed market in the continent. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will partially be funding this initiative as it emphasises on animal healthcare. Through this plant, Hester will be able to improve animal healthcare for smallholder farmers through locally produced vaccines and healthcare products. We will thereby effectively be able to bridge the gap between demand and supply in the animal vaccines and health products sector in Africa. Our distribution activities coupled with this manufacturing plant would synergise our business in Africa; we expect to roll out the first commercial batch in March 2021.