The African Chicken Genetic Gains (ACGG) project is helping African farmers to improve their local, well-adapted chickens. From 27 September to 2 October 2015 ACGG organized his first course on ‘Design and implementation of breeding programs for smallholder poultry farmers’, at the ILRI campus in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The course, partly organized by Animal Breeding and Genomics Centre, was the first in a series of training courses offered by the ACGG program to establish a network of professionals working in poultry improvement across Africa.
The course was designed by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) together with Johan van Arendonk and Hans Komen of the Animal Breeding and Genomics Centre, Wageningen University, and Elise Norberg of Arhus University. The course targeted PhD researchers involved in on-farm and on-station poultry genetic improvement. The aim of the course was to contribute to increased collaboration between the participants and to establish a network of professionals working in poultry improvement across Africa. In total 21 PhD students from Tanzania, Nigeria and Ethiopia (ACGG project countries) participated in the course. The course was very well evaluated; a next course, on statistical methods and genetic analysis is being planned for spring 2016.
African Chicken Genetic Gains or ACGG is an Africa-wide collaboration led by the International Livestock Research Institute. Part of the wider ‘LiveGene‘ initiative, ACGG tests and makes available high-producing, farmer-preferred genotypes that increase smallholder chicken productivity in Africa. The program is executed by ILRI and financially supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation.
The Animal Breeding and Genomics Centre, with financial support from the Koepon foundation, is responsible for developing the blueprint for a breeding program for chicken that meets the needs of smallholder farmers for the future. The second role is in capacity building and organizing training on animal breeding and genetics within the ACGG program.