The African Chicken Genetic Gains Project in Nigeria (ACGG Nigeria) engaged livestock stakeholders, farmers and researchers in Imo State during a conference of the Nigerian Society for Animal Production (NSAP) held 19-21 March 2018 in Owerri.
At the event, the ACGG Nigeria project team exhibited its ongoing research in poultry development in the country. The project team presented papers, shared recent ACGG data, and run a workshop on big data analysis.
Engagement with stakeholders during the NSAP conference
The NASP conference was held at the Federal University of Technology, Owerri under the theme ‘Exploring science and technology innovations for sustainable livestock development’.
The ACGG Nigeria’s stand at the conference displayed pictures of cocks and hens of the breeds being tested in the country, infographic banners of the breeds’ performance and information showing how the project will contribute to human development in the country. Visitors to the stand received flyers and saw live birds (a cock and a hen each) of four of the breeds (Funaab Alpha, Kurioler, Sasso and ShikaBrown) that are being used in ACGG Nigeria smallholder farmers in the state. Video excerpts of interviews with selected farmers across the project’s five operating zones; a video on smallholder poultry production, ACGG Nigeria’s interventions and the ‘supplementary feed formulation’ application being developed by the project were also displayed at the booth.
In line with the drive towards enhancing private sector partnerships for smallholder poultry development, the project had invited some of its partners to use its paid exhibition space free of charge. Partners present included Bdellium Consult Limited, Answer Industries Limited, Amo Sieberer Hatcheries Limited and Animal Care Konsult. These partners had on display premium processed (smoked) chicken (Bdellium Consult), commercial feeds packaged in 2.5 kg bags for smallholders and egg powder packaged in 10 g sachets up to 5 kg bags (Answer Industries), the Noiler breed (Amo Sieberer Hatcheries), and veterinary drugs (Animal Care Konsult).
Presentation of scientific papers
Three research papers–two on animal breeding and genetics and one on animal products were presented at the event on the following topics.
- Indigenous chicken breeding in Nigeria
- Genetic differences in performance of five chicken genotypes reared in five subnational zones in Nigeria
- Growth and carcass performance of six tropically-adapted dual-purpose breeds under intensive management system
The project also hosted a day-long side event where, among other presentations, the results of the baseline survey and on-station/on-farm tests were presented by the project’s consultant data analyst and discussed by participants. More than 110 people attended the side-event. They included animal breeding and genetics specialists, agricultural extension agents, animal nutritionists; and animal physiology and reproduction, animal health, meat science, processing and products experts, and animal production and management specialists.
The side event culminated in a training session on management and analysis of big data. ACGG Nigeria-branded flash drives, preloaded with project information, were distributed to participants at the end.
Among other lessons learned, it appears that breeder farms (and brooder farms) that brood day-old chicks for 4–6 weeks before selling to smallholder farmers are required. About 60% of visitors to the ACGG Nigeria booth asked how they could buy chicks of the different breeds being tested by the project. ACGG-Nigeria is currently seeking partnerships to help facilitate the availability of chicks.
These events were followed by the 6th National Innovation Platform meeting and the 2nd Smallholder Poultry Forum meeting on 22 and 23 March.