The African Chicken Genetic Gains (ACGG) program management team (PMT) meeting took place in Arusha, Tanzania, recently (27-28 January 2016). Key partners came to discuss program achievements and objectives for the coming year.
This PMT meeting was the second such gathering of project team members and researchers, economists, innovation platform experts and communication and gender specialists from the three project countries (Ethiopia, Tanzania and Nigeria).
Participants reflected on the activities achieved in the first year and made plans for year 2016. The plans hatched by the country teams would be later reviewed by the Scientific and Industrial Advisory Committee (SIAC) before approval.
Among the issues discussed, the PMT meeting covered: the program partnership dynamics, long-term breeding plans and genetic gains, baseline and data management, on-station and on-farm breeding and testing, innovation platforms and communication issues. Each session aimed at drawing success stories, areas that need improvement and lessons learned, to inform 2016 planning.
Partners appreciated the high quality training delivered to enumerators and the ongoing processes of capturing data using digital devices which ensure real-time data delivery.
Technical issues such as poor mobile network and lack of access to electricity in some areas were some of the challenges reported. Risk of bird disease, gender integration and how the project would benefit by engaging graduate students were some of the areas from which the team drew lessons. Partners also noted the communication gaps among the project partners and the benefits of training on, and use of, various tools like Yammer and wikis in sharing information.
Among the issues agreed on for future focus is the importance of meeting farmers’ needs and responding to their choices to ensure success and sustainability of the project, identifying country specific challenges and proposed solutions and those responsible for addressing them.
Some central focus areas for 2016 include improving the project visibility in all three countries, attracting women and youth to the project and planning innovation platform activities.
In order to ensure success stories are captured well and consistently, the team appointed a representative for every country who will be documenting project highlights.