African Dairy Genetic Gains
The ADDG project is in its second phase after a successful first phase and an extension period. The second phase of the project is integrated in the Sustainable Animal Productivity for Livelihoods, Nutrition and Gender Inclusion (SAPLING) CGIAR research initiative. This second phase has expanded its activities across the African region and south Asia to include Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Nepal as well as supporting SAPLING activities in Nigeria and Zambia.
The ADGG project is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and was initiated in 2016, with the pilot phase running from 2016 to November 2019, in Ethiopia and Tanzania. The project supports a farmer-focused partnership that routinely records on-farm performance, and genetic information on dairy cattle in Tanzania and Ethiopia and digitally shares feedback of the results of such data and also disseminates related farmers education messages to the farmers. The data generated is analyzed and the results and summaries are being used by farmers to inform herd management decisions, as well as to linking the farmers to key breeding and animal health service providers, leading to sustained animal and herd productivity gains as well as contributing towards more income for, higher profits to smallholder dairy farmers. ADGG is providing dairy cattle genetic gains with the potential to transform the lives of millions of dairy families across Africa
The program has A) Established performance recording and sampling systems in Tanzania and Ethiopia; B) Used the information and samples to develop genomic prediction algorithms and systems for selecting crossbred bulls and cows of superior genetic merit for Artificial Insemination and natural mating; C) Successfully piloted farmer-feedback systems that assist farmers to improve their productivity. The project, during its current extension phase has extended its activities in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda, focusing on using the data and information gathered on the platforms to generate solid evidence the impact of long-term and sustained genetic gain to the dairy sector in Eastern Africa region and by extension, Africa. The goal is to have working systems based on public-private partnerships that have a clear route to long-term sustainability in the next three to five year period, while the ADGG’s vision is ADGG’s vision is to see that African smallholder dairy farmers are continuously accessing more productive dairy genetics, breeding and farmer education services and other related input services enabling their farming enterprises to be profitable and competitive businesses.