4. April 2022

Optimizing vaccination and biosecurity regimes to enhance fight against AMR in commercial poultry production


Region: Africa Sector: Food & Feed Country: Tanzania Project type: Demonstration project Country partners: Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries in Tanzania, Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, Natural Resources and Livestock in Zanzibar, Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA), Zanzibar Livestock Research Institute (ZALIRI) Timescale: 1 May 2022 - 30 April 2025 ICARS funding: 564,637.09 USD


In April 2017, Tanzania launched the National Action Plan (NAP) to guide mitigation strategies in line with the Global Action Plan on AMR using the One Health Approach. There is currently high usage of antimicrobials in livestock in Tanzania, for example between 2010 and 2017 consumption of antimicrobials in livestock reached approximately 12.2 million tonnes (Kimera et al., 2020; Mdegela et al., 2021; Sangeda et al., 2021). In the animal sector, the highest consumption of antimicrobials is in short-cycle food producing animals, in particular poultry, which are reared commercially under intensive production systems.

Tanzania’s NAP contains ten action packages as a roadmap for combating AMR in the country (NAP-AMR, 2017-2022), but there has been an intervention implementation gap in action packages that primarily address the root cause of AMR in agriculture, particularly in poultry production. Therefore, this project aims to help address that gap.


The United Republic of Tanzania is experiencing a surge in commercial poultry production at an average annual growth rate of 6.4% in response to increased demand for eggs and broiler meat (United Republic of Tanzania URT, 2021). This increased demand has led to intensified poultry production, which increases the risk for poultry diseases if proper preventive and control measures are not instituted. Best practice is to establish vaccination and biosecurity measures with prudent antimicrobial use. In Tanzania, inadequate vaccination and biosecurity measures have led to increased disease burden in poultry farms and higher antimicrobial use. Consequently, increased non-prudent antimicrobial use in poultry can impact the safety of poultry products for human consumption.

“While vaccination and biosecurity are effective in the poultry sector globally, these are not always tailored to local realities and therefore are not feasible. This exciting project will look at the most appropriate vaccine and biosecurity mechanisms in three Tanzanian settings to support heathy and sustainable poultry production” – Erica Westwood, Implementation Research Advisor

Erica Westwood, ICARS Implementation Research Advisor, speaks to projects teams at a co-development workshop in October 2021.

Project overview

While vaccination and biosecurity practices are used elsewhere, predominately in high-income countries, their application in LMICs is still limited. Uptake and application of such practices in commercial poultry production in Tanzania requires an optimised regime of vaccines and biosecurity interventions that are available and relevant, with a social and economic case for sustainable investment. Therefore, this evidence needs to be generated at farm level to be able to adapt to real-time challenges that farmers are likely to face when implementing the interventions and to develop solutions to facilitate smooth uptake. This project aims to optimise, promote and apply these regimes in the local context.
Specific objectives for this project include:

  1. To establish baseline knowledge, attitude and practices of actors in the value chain on vaccination and biosecurity measures in commercial poultry production.
  2. To analyze existing policy and regulatory frameworks that govern the use of vaccines and biosecurity measures in commercial poultry production.
  3. To assess effectiveness of defined vaccination and biosecurity regimes in reducing diseases occurrence and the use of antimicrobials in selected settings.
  4. To develop and test a business model for sustainable vaccination and biosecurity interventions.
  5. To build capacity through training and disseminate project findings to relevant stakeholders using knowledge translation approach.

This project will take place in small and medium sized commercial poultry farms in Tanzania.

“In commercial livestock production systems, vaccination and biosecurity are key requirements that must go hand in hand to ensure food security and safety, in particular towards fight against antimicrobial resistance” – Professor Robinson Mdegela, Sokoine University of Agriculture


This project intends to reduce antimicrobial use, and therefore antimicrobial resistance emergence through tailored vaccination and biosecurity regimes in commercial poultry production. The project will build local capacities to support collaborative on-farm training. Through involving the farmers throughout the study lifespan, it is intended that they will first-hand see the benefits for poultry health and growth while also understanding the economic benefits of implementing preventative measures. This will be further supported through producing a business case to assess costs and benefits from interventions, to support future scale up.

Evidence generated from this project is expected to inform national policy and regulatory levers.

Demonstration Project
Food & Feed

Combating antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial residues in the Zambian poultry sector

Supporting activity

Interventions to control the dynamics of antimicrobial resistance from chickens through the environment (ENVIRE)