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Participants 533,202
US$ 183,325,941
Nets 82,756,239

Question to AMF: 'Where are your nets manufactured?'

The short answer is Asia (Thailand, Vietnam, China) and Africa (Tanzania, and in the past Malawi).

There are a series of companies that supply nets who are all WHOPES Phase II approved (World Health Organisation Pesticide Evaluation Scheme). This is the body that evaluates nets and designates individual products safe for use after appropriate lab and field testing. They publish all testing results.

Vestergaard, who produce PermaNet nets, and Sumitomo Vector Control, who produce Olyset nets, are two of the bigger manufacturers and they are the two organisations from whom we have bought the majority of our nets so far. Vestergaard are a Danish company and Sumitomo a Japanese company and they both have offices in a number of locations around the world.

Purchasing decisions are based largely, but not entirely, on price.

Nets are effectively a textile so there are economies of scale in manufacturing. Global demand means there are a relatively small number of facilities needed to produce the number of nets required. Scale economies mean it would not be cost effective to locate a manufacturing facility in all or most countries that have a high net need. However, Africa-based location could reduce logistics costs, improve the speed of supply (shipping currently takes two months or so) and benefit the local economy.

Vestergaard and Sumitomo supply the majority of their nets from Asia, typically Vietnam, Thailand and China. There are manufacturing facilities other than in Asia. For example, there is a facility in Tanzania that is a joint venture between Sumitomo and a local company. There are/were plans for other facilities in Nigeria and Ethiopia but we are not current on the situation there.

The majority of the nets we have bought to date have been from Asia but we have bought significant quantities from the facility in Tanzania and from a supplier in Malawi. When we required 130,000 nets to protect 130,000 boarding school children in Tanzania we purchased from the Tanzanian supplier. A further 150,000, 235,000 and 322,500 nets have been supplied from Africa.

Our first obligation is to protect as many people as we can with the funds we have available. If the lowest price is therefore from Asian supply, that is where we are likely to buy. However, we are conscious of assisting local economies where we can, so if the difference between two quotes is marginal, an order can end up with a local supplier.

See also a related post from 2011