African Chicken Genetics project hands over plan for the Tanzanian Smallholder Poultry Association to government

Written by Tsion Issayas

The 7th African Chicken Genetic Gains (ACGG) national innovation platform and handover of the Tanzanian Smallholder Poultry Association (TASPA) to the government was held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 19–20 June 2019 (photo credit: ILRI/Tsion Issayas).

The 7th African Chicken Genetic Gains (ACGG) Tanzania national innovation platform meeting of representatives from the public and private sectors, non-governmental organizations and government agencies, was held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on 19–20 June 2019.

The two-day meeting was a rich learning and discussion event where participants reflected on the successes, challenges and future of the smallholder chicken subsector in Tanzania. One of the key messages that emerged from the discussions was the need for the platform members to work in partnership with diverse poultry industry stakeholders in the country to create a market-led chicken subsector where all value chain actors benefit, especially women.

Tadelle Dessie, ACGG project leader and senior scientist in genetics and breeding at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), said that such partnerships would help chicken industry actors in Tanzania to build new and strengthen existing relationships with government, private sector and donor agencies. He said that, working through such partnerships has enabled the ACGG project to successfully test different chicken breeds and develop agro-ecologically appropriate and farmer-preferred chicken in the country. ‘By forming and nurturing innovation platforms ACGG has also increased access to inputs and market for smallholder farmers, especially women,’ he added.

He called upon the innovation platform members to ‘build a transformative smallholder chicken system that is nutrition-smart, inclusive, remunerative and commercially viable through evidence-driven innovations and sustainable delivery models in Tanzania’.

The forum discussed the plans and next steps in the establishment of a Tanzanian Smallholder Poultry Association (TASPA), the timelines for setting up the association, strategies for funding, creating awareness and recruiting members from all over Tanzania. The government will now take over the process of registering and managing the TASPA.

Participants also visited displays of chicken feed, veterinary products, chicken coops and breeds set up at the meeting venue.

At the closing, Furaha Mramba, CEO of the Tanzania Veterinary Lab Agency thanked ILRI and ACGG for supporting the Tanzanian chicken industry. She presented an award to Tadelle on behalf of the Tanzanian government for his contributions in research and leadership to the Tanzanian chicken sector and the establishment of TASPA.

Tsion Issays is publishing services manager at ILRI.