Why village poultry?
The International Rural Poultry Centre is a subsidiary of the KYEEMA Foundation (IRPC). The Australian Centre for International Agricultural Development (ACIAR), the School of Veterinary Science at the University of Queensland (UQ) and the Australian Government Agency for International Development (AusAID) have been at the forefront in funding village chicken development and research, in particular the development of the thermostable I-2 Newcastle Disease (ND) vaccine. The IRPC was formed to continue this work and to group the specialists involved with village poultry development, research and within one unit whose services are more accessible to the developing world.
The IRPC was initiated by Professor Peter Spradbrow and Dr Stewart Routledge in response to concerns about the possible loss of ND expertise as a result of Professor Peter Spradbrow retirement from UQ and the imminent reduction of ACIAR funding for ND projects in developing countries. The IRPC was thus set up to promote cost-efficient, sustainable improvements to village poultry production and to assist with a sustainable supply of the I-2 master seed. It is also intended that the IRPC will take responsibility for training laboratory and field staff for countries that request the I-2 vaccine. This vaccine is available free-of-charge under certain condition because ACIAR holds the intellectual property rights to the vaccine. This training will ensure that:
By setting up the IRPC, it is hoped that requests for assistance with village poultry and ND control can be met with appropriate funding and technical expertise.
Over the last twenty years, ACIAR has supported projects aimed at finding a sustainable solution to control ND in village chickens. Vaccines have been developed that are relatively thermostable and are not completely reliant on a cold chain. Two vaccines have been developed from avirulent Australian isolates of ND virus. Strain NDV4-HR became a commercial vaccine. Strain I-2 was developed specifically for local production in developing countries, as it is not under patent. The seed material was produced by Professor Peter Spradbrow with funding from an ACIAR project and is held at present at the University of Queensland. Seed material is made available without cost to developing countries that wish to test, and possibly produce, thermostable vaccine.
The IRPC works closely with UQ and ACIAR, the two organisations which were responsible for development of the I-2 thermotolerant Newcastle disease (ND) vaccine. Dr Robyn Alders, Board member of the KYEEMA Foundation and Associate Professor at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in the USA was based in Mozambique for ACIAR/UQ/AusAID from 1996-2005, undertaking laboratory and field trial work on the I-2 vaccine. Dr Alders has also been involved with the control of ND and village poultry production in Bhutan, Cambodia, Ghana, Malawi, Senegal, Tanzania, Vietnam, and Zambia.
The International Rural Poultry Centre (IRPC) aims to improve the livelihood and standard of living of rural families by:
The IRPC provides virtual and actual technical assistance across a broad range of issues dealing with village poultry research and development: