African Chicken Genetic Gains aims to leverage existing research while implementing innovative approaches to the development and supply of genetics in country value chains. The approach is characterized by:
- High-producing genetics that is well-adapted to low-input production systems: While the chicken value chain has received heavy investment, little of this has been targeted to improved genetics for smallholders. ACGG will help improve existing animal health and management infrastructure to target genetics because we believe that genetics is a key to increased productivity. Moreover, it can be used as a “pull factor,” positively influencing investment and entrepreneurship in other aspects of the value chain through, for example, health and feeding interventions.
- Farmer preferred breeds of chickens: The principle driver of product development will be smallholder and local consumer preferences. ACGG will inform innovation in genetic technologies with farmer preferences and responses generated through rigorous on-farm and field testing.
- Innovation platforms to develop solutions across the value chain: Innovation platforms will be formed and facilitated, drawing in members from key actors in country chicken value chains. The platforms will be informed by the results of needs driven applied research, helping to guide the generation and mobilization of the new knowledge needed to deliver increased productivity.
- Public-private partnership for improvement, multiplication, and delivery: This program is designed to foster public-private partnerships. These are critical to the success of the program. Thus, testing and innovation of germplasm lines will be done in ways that allow us to make business cases for the farmer-preferred lines. Uptake of the new lines by the private sector is critical for the wider adoption, maintenance, multiplication, and delivery of the genetic technologies. Developing strong relationships with the private sector will be a key function of the innovation platforms.
- Women at the centre to ensure success: Women are key actors in smallholder chicken value chains (they own and manage the flocks and are the traders in chickens and chicken products). ACGG will place women at the heart of its activities, from constraint identification, definition of breeding objectives, testing of improved lines through to full participation in the innovation platforms. Data collection and analysis will have engage women fully, at least 50% of the enumerators will be women. The program will test and respond to the specific concerns and preferences of women as farmers and consumers.