From the 3rd to 7th of August, ILRI’s Biotechnoly Theme’s ‘improving the utilization of farm animal genetic resources’ (BT03) team will be hosting Prof. Jan Philipsson of SLU-Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Prof. Hans Solkner of BOKU–University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences Vienna, Austria.
The aim of this visit is:
- To review Ms. Emelie Zonabend, PhD graduate fellow who is working on Sustainable breeding strategies for ruminants in Eastern and Southern Africa-a PhD Thesis Research project
- Finalize a 10-year ILRI-SLU Project Report
- Finalize the design of the homepage of the revised version of the Animal Genetic Training Resource which will be released soon
- To discuss, review and plan the on-going and potential future joint research between the out team and the 2 institutions
ILRI has been partnering with BOKU University, Austria on various projects including:
1. Designing Community-Based Breeding Strategies for indigenous Sheep Breeds of Smallholders in Ethiopia
The purpose of this project is to develop successful community-based small ruminant breeding schemes that suit the local mixed crop–sheep producing and pastoral Ethiopian communities’ conditions and farmers’ needs.
Key outputs of the project include;
1. Breeding goals defined in a participatory manner by farmers and at least one breeding program established per breed;
2. A methodological framework for the development of community-based breeding programs for smallholder producers, including institutional arrangements;
3. Impact assessment of the breeding system at individual, flock and community level;
4. Assessment of the characteristics of the breeds managed by the breeding programs;
5. Better understanding of the constraints to market access by sheep keepers and
6. Technically capacitated and trained young national professionals to Msc and PhD levels in animal breeding and related disciplines.
And the following 2 projects with SLU:
1. Capacity Building for Sustainable Use of Animal Genetic Resources (AnGR) In Developing Countries-Training of the trainers approach
The objectives of this project are:
1. Strengthen subject knowledge and skills of NARS scientists in teaching, research and supervision of animal breeding and genetics;
2. Strengthen communication skills of these teachers and researchers;
3. Catalyze curriculum development, review of course contents, and use of new and expanded teaching methods in university education;
4. Develop computer-based training resources relevant for use by NARS teachers and researchers;
5. Stimulate contacts and exchange of experiences and ideas between teachers/researchers from developing countries on research and training of students in animal breeding and genetics and
6. Strengthen the human capacity base of the project partners for work on animal genetic resources in developing countries.
The key project outputs are:
1. Trained and capacitated National Agricultural Research System scientists in teaching, research and supervision of animal breeding and genetics and science communication in general;
2. New and better animal breeding and genetics curriculum developed in a number of developing country universities and new and expanded teaching methods in use.
3. Three versions of Computer-based training resources (Animal Genetics Training Resource (AGTR)), with relevant contents developed, availed to, and being used by the NARS teachers and researchers;
4. Two regional Electronic Platforms that allow for contacts and effective exchange of experiences and ideas between developing country teachers/researchers on research and training of students in animal breeding and genetics created and in use and
5. Human capacity base of the project partners strengthened to enable their better understanding and continued work on animal genetic resources in developing countries.
2. Sustainable breeding strategies for ruminants in Eastern and Southern Africa-a PhD Thesis Research by Ms Emelie Zonabend
Project objectives: To investigate options and alternative breeding strategies applicable to trans-boundary indigenous livestock within Eastern and Southern Africa for their sustainable utilization under low input production systems.
The expected key outputs are:
1. Comprehensive description and of the current infrastructure and needs for sustainable utilization of the animal genetic resources in a sample of countries in Eastern and Southern Africa;
2. Description of fitness and morphometric trait characteristics and on-farm performance of the Red Maasai sheep;
3. Description of farmers’/pastorlaists’ trait choice and breeding objectives and development and design of breeding objectives of the Red Maasai sheep;
4. Description of the population structure, genetic and phenotypic parameters for production, reproduction and health traits in selected Red Maasai sheep populations and
5. Capacity of young Swedish scientist built to tackle key issue on sustainable management of animal genetic resources in developing countries.
The visit will also include field visit to Isinya farmers and Kapiti Ranch. For more information about this visit and the above research projects write to Okeyo Mwai or Julie Ojango