The following presentation was given by Jasmine Bruno, African Chicken Genetic Gains (ACGG) project management officer, at the Technologies, Platforms and Partnerships in Support of the African Agricultural Science Agenda workshop in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire on 4–5 April 2017.
The African Chicken Genetic Gains (ACGG) project evaluated the productivity of various breeds before selecting the ones for use in the project. These breeds ranged from the indigenous breeds of West Africa, with a yield of 33 eggs per year, to the ‘exotic’ birds of the developed world which yielded more than 300 eggs per year. The project also focused on bundling appropriate technologies for greater achievements instead of scaling a single technology.
On-farm testing is a major component of ACGG with 7,500 farmers taking part. During testing, a wide range of data is collected relating to mortality, productivity, input access, profitability, preferences and farmers’ perceptions. This data will be used to inform the Long-Term Genetic Gain program and ultimately the scale-up of the project.
National Agricultural Research systems (NARS), platform members and private sector partners are working hand in hand to ensure the success of the ACGG project which is coordinated by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and is also responsible for providing access to the preferred strains, conducting capacity assessments and availing content-specific capacity building to partners.
As the project moves forward, strain selection and improvement as well as private sector engagement will continue. The project will also focus on engaging input suppliers across the value chain and strengthening and contextualizing the Long-term Genetic Gains program. The project team will also focus on upscaling project achievements.