ACGG to boost food security via rural farming

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The African Chicken Genetic Gain (ACGG) has said it is set to enhance food security through rural farming.

The Project Leader, ACGG, Prof. Funso Sonaiya, said this would be achieved through the transformation of smallholder chicken production into commercially viable enterprise with private sector engagement that could empower rural women, increase income and nutrition of their families.

He said this would be achieved through a transformational, comprehensive and system-wide approach to the improvement of village poultry production systems at a scale that had the potential to impact millions of the poor in three partner countries including Ethiopia, Nigeria and Tanzania.

It would be done through delivery of more productive locally adaptable chicken, production inputs and services to farmers in rural communities, he added.

Sonaiya, a professor in the Department of Animal Science, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile Ife, said tests were being carried out in the Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta, Fol-Hope Farms, Ibadan as well as in five zones – Kwara, Rivers, Imo, Nasarawa and Kebbi states – involving 2,100 farmers and ‘six genetics’ chromosome.

He said after the tests, the two most preferred breeds would be commercialised by private breeder farms to ensure reliable supply of day-old chicks.

“Using science’s ‘six genetics’, we are sure to have a high yield of egg production than the local breed. The six genetics produces up to about 200 eggs annually while the local breed produces less than 65 annually. The adult size for a local breed is 1kg at 20 weeks while the six genetics weighs 3kg at 20 weeks,” he said.

Sonaiya said in the last two years, the organisation had conducted extensive baseline survey of smallholder poultry farmers in Nigeria and distributed over 65,000 chicks to 2,100 smallholder chicken farmers ( 65 per cent of which  are women) in 60 villages across five main agro-ecological zones.

He said the ACGG facilitated the delivery of vaccination to smallholder chicken farmers, established a data management system for on-farm and on-station data collection among many other activities.

According to him, the adoption of the ACGG project to transform smallholder chicken production in Nigeria has a multiplier effect in empowering rural women farmers.

He said the project was launched in 2015 at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Ibadan, Oyo State by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and that deploying the use of science for poultry farming had proved to be more productive compared to the conventional method.

He also said the mortality rate of the ‘six genetics’ was  less than two  per cent compared to the five per cent mortality rate of local breeds.

 

 

The post ACGG to boost food security via rural farming appeared first on The Nation Nigeria.

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