Eliciting preferences for attributes of Newcastle disease vaccination programmes for village poultry in Ethiopia
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Newcastle disease (NCD) is an important disease of poultry, directly affecting the livelihoods of poor farmers across developing countries. Research has identified promising innovations in NCD vaccine development and field trials among village poultry have been promising. However, NCD vaccination is not currently part of village poultry extension programmes in many developing countries. Understanding the preferences for, and relative importance of, different attributes of potential vaccination programmes to prevent NCD will be crucial in designing acceptable and sustainable prevention programmes. This research employed the discrete choice experiment approach to elicit farmers’ preference for attributes of NCD vaccination programmes for village poultry in rural Ethiopia. The choice experiment survey was conducted on 450 smallholder farmers. The relative importance of attributes of NCD vaccines to farmers was estimated using a random parameter logit regression model. The preferred NCD vaccine programme had greater bird-level protection (i.e. greater capacity to reduce mortality should NCD occur in a flock), was delivered by animal health development agents, and could be administered via drinking water. Results from simulations on changes in attribute levels revealed that bird-level protection capacity and delivery of vaccine by animal heath extension affect farmers’ preferences more than other attributes. These findings suggest that it is important to ensure NCD vaccine programmes offer reasonable capacity to protect against mortality. It also suggests the need to understand farmers’ preferred vaccine delivery mechanisms and route of vaccine administration for a wider acceptance of vaccine.