The Nigeria team of the African Chicken Genetic Gains (ACGG) Program capped off its 2016 activities by participating in the maiden edition of Ife City Trade Expo held 19–24 December, 2016 at EastWind Arena, Ile-Ife, Osun State.
The expo brought together exhibitors, vendors and trade merchants from a broad spectrum including telecom distributors, boutiques, electrical and electronics merchants, information and communication technology (ICT) dealers, amusement park operators, restaurant operators, educational service providers, financial institutions and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
ACGG Nigeria had a stand at the expo and project staff used the event to create awareness and publicity on products (eggs and mature cocks) from the improved breeds (Fulani, FUNAAB Alpha, ShikaBrown, Kuroiler and Sasso) being introduced by the project.
The team produced a handout which highlighted the project objectives, operations and sites, that was given to visitors. Two roll-up banners with more information on the project, including its partners in the country and highlights of achievements from the first two years of operation; and posters of the expected outcomes of the project were also shared. The improved chickens were also displayed in a see-through coop.
Project staff answered visitors who ranged from local market women to academics and young school children. The ACGG team’s key message at the expo was on smallholder chicken production (SHC) as a tool for improved economic sustenance and household nutrition.
One of the highlights of the expo was a tour, by school children, of the ACGG Nigeria marketplace where team members informed them on chicken feeding and health. A common question among adult visitors was on the feed requirements for the improved birds. The prospect of having more productive chicken breeds that are adapted to the local conditions was also appealing to them and there was interest in buying the birds.
ACGG Nigeria’s vision of transforming SHC production was communicated to the visitors in terms of:
- Access to better performing breeds
- Feed supplementation
About 200 guests (twenty of whom were children) visited the ACGG-Nigeria marketplace. The adult visitors were mostly women, reflecting their primary role in SHC.
Bdellium Consult, a key ACGG Nigeria partner also participated in the expo. Bdellium Consult is actively involved in ACGG-Nigeria’s innovation platforms and has been spearheading the task force on market development for SHC. The company used the expo to test the public’s perception and acceptance of an organic (scavenging) chicken meat product.
Participating in the expo gave ACGG-Nigeria the opportunity to create visibility for the project both locally and internationally. In future, the team will use lessons from this experience in the 2017 Nigeria Poultry Show, which is organized by the Poultry Association of Nigeria i.
Written by Fikayo Oyewale.