Africa Chicken genetic gains project: Availing adapted, farmer-preferred chickens for smallholders in sub- Saharan Africa

The African Chicken Genetic Gains (ACGG) project was started in 2014 and implemented over 5 years in Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Nigeria. The program’s vision is to increase smallholder chicken production and productivity growth as a pathway out of poverty in sub-Saharan Africa. The program was led by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) being implemented in collaboration with partners. The project’s theory of change elaborates that production and productivity gains can be realized through the access of poor smallholder farmers to high-producing but agro-ecologically appropriate and farmer-preferred chicken strains. The project aspiration was to engage 7,500 farmers directly into on-farm research to test the productivity and performance of select chicken strains in each geography and stations. A total of 2100, 1746 and 2171 households received chicken in five sub-national zones in Nigeria, Tanzania, and Ethiopia respectively. In Nigeria a total of 57,400 chicks, in Tanzania a total of 43,224 chicks and in Ethiopia a total of 54,275 chicks were distributed from a total of 13 chicken strains (6 in Nigeria, 2 in Tanzania and 5 in Ethiopia). Meanwhile, a total of 6 stations, Debre Zeit Agricultural Research Center (DZARC) and Haramaya University (HU) in Ethiopia; the Federal University of Agriculture at Abeokuta (FUNAAB) in Nigeria, and the Fol-Hope Station and the Naliendele Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) and Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) served as stations. In total, 5 strains in Nigeria, 2 strains in Tanzania and 4 strains in Ethiopia were tested under on-station conditions.