FAO in Ethiopia

FAO, EU donate Peste des Petis Ruminants (PPR) vaccine machine to Ethiopia

Officials from the Government of Ethiopia, the European Union and FAO at the handover ceremony of the vaccine filling and labeling machine.©FAO/Tamiru Legesse

Addis Ababa – With funding from the European Union (EU), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has procured a USD 921 000 machine that will enhance the production of thermo-tolerant Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR) vaccine in Ethiopia. The vaccine filling and labeling machine has been installed at the National Veterinary Institute (NVI). The new machine could also be used for the lyoplization of other vaccine types if needed. It complements the USD 810 000 lyophilizer machine that FAO procured, also with EU funding, and handed over to the NVI in October 2018. The NVI now has the capacity to produce 50 million doses of the thermos-stable PPR vaccine per year.

Speaking at the handover ceremony on 21 January 2021, Dr. Fikru Regassa, State Minister for Livestock Development, Ministry of Agriculture, Ethiopia, said diseases significantly affect the livestock sector's production and productivity and result in restrictions on export.

"However, most of the livestock diseases are preventable and controlled through vaccination. The machine will enable us to produce safe, quality, and enough thermo-tolerant vaccines," said Dr. Regassa.

He thanked FAO and the EU for the support and re-affirmed the Government of Ethiopia's commitment to eradicate PPR.

Ambassador Johan Borgstam, EU Head of Delegation to Ethiopia, said, "The machine will increase the PPR vaccine production capacity and innovative thermostable vaccine delivery systems for Ethiopia and other African countries. This investment is also expected to contribute to the Global PPR eradication campaign aiming at eradicating the disease by 2027 in Ethiopia and by 2030 worldwide. " 

A threat to food security and livelihoods of rural poor

Peste des Petis Ruminants, also known as goat or sheep plague, is a highly contagious animal disease affecting domestic and wild small ruminants. It is caused by a virus belonging to the genus Morbillivirus, the family Paramixoviridae. Once newly introduced, the virus can infect up to 90 percent of an animal herd, and the disease kills anywhere up to 70 percent of infected animals. Since its clinical confirmation in Ethiopia in 1991, the disease has dramatically affected the country's small ruminant population's health and well-being, thereby jeopardizing the livestock owners' food security and livelihoods.

Small ruminants - totaling 40 million sheep and 50 million goats (CSA, 2020) are the primary livestock resource of many poor rural families. For these households, sheep and goats are a source of food, regular income, and a means to capitalize on savings and a safety net during times of hardship.

 “Controlling and eventually eradicating PPR means fighting rural poverty, ensuring food security and nutrition, and strengthening the resilience of the national economy," said Ms. Fatouma Seid, the FAO Representative in Ethiopia.

Ms. Seid added that "eradicating PPR will contribute significantly to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 1 (no poverty), SDG 2 (zero hunger), but also SDGs 5 (gender equality) and 8 (decent work and economic growth)".

Provision of vaccine production equipment  in line with national commitment to eradicate PPR

Ethiopia has developed a National PPR Progressive Control and Eradication Strategy, which aligns with the international and Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)'s PPR control and eradication strategies. The Strategy targets explicitly to progressively reduce the incidence and spread of PPR infection through risk-based vaccination and other control approaches, thereby enhancing small ruminants' productivity and production, improve trade, and eventually leading to the eradication of PPR. It also aims to enhance the national veterinary services by addressing the gaps identified during the Performance of Veterinary Services Evaluation and lessen the negative impact of other small ruminant diseases through complementary risk-based vaccination.

The PPR vaccine filling and labeling machine was purchased as part of the implementation of FAO's Project - "Pursuing Pastoral Resilience (PPR) through Improved Animal Health Service Delivery in Pastoral Areas of Ethiopia," funded by the EU. The Project aims to contribute to increased food security and build a more robust livelihood for pastoralists in Ethiopia's lowlands by supporting animal health services and developing and implementing a strategy to control and eventually eradicate PPR. It was implemented in Afar, Tigray, and Amhara, Somali, the southern lowlands of Oromia and Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ regional states.



Rachel Nandelenga

Communications Consultant

FAO Ethiopia

[email protected]




Tamiru Legesse

National Communication Officer

FAO Ethiopia

[email protected]