NEOGEN, Hendrix Genetics partner to introduced improved poultry stock breeds in Africa

AFRICA – Hendrix Genetics, a multi-species animal breeding, genetics and technology company, has partnered with NEOGEN Corporation, maker of comprehensive solutions dedicated to food and animal safety, to improve poultry genetic performance in Africa.

NEOGEN’s animal safety segment is a leader in the development of genomic solutions along with the manufacturing and distribution of a variety of animal healthcare products, including diagnostics, pharmaceuticals, veterinary instruments, wound care, and disinfectants.

Under the partnership, the company will support the implementation of genomic selection into Hendrix’s Sustainable Access to Poultry Parent Stock in Africa (SAPPSA) program.

“We are pleased to join Hendrix Genetics in their mission to help secure the supply of high-quality parent stock to African smallholder farmers.

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“By helping to incorporate genotyping into Hendrix Genetics’ excellent breeding program, we can ensure that the correct birds for the environment are chosen, and we are able to support the sustainable development of farming practices while helping educate on the best practices for nutrition, housing, and poultry biosecurity,” said Marylinn Munson, Vice President of Genomics at NEOGEN.

The SAPPSA project was initiated to provide African farmers with sustainable genetic solutions in order to offer them a pathway out of poverty.

In 2018, the project received a multi-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with the objective to secure access to poultry parent stock, improve dual-purpose breeds for African smallholder farmers, and grow African Poultry Multiplication Initiatives (APMI) across the continent.

Hendrix Genetics began collecting data on their existing poultry population located in Burkina Faso in 2020.

The offspring of these elite birds were then tested for growth and egg production characteristics in this tropical climate.

The company will now work with NEOGEN Genomics to genotype the elite animals in the population.

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With the addition of genotyping, Hendrix Genetics will be able to increase genetic gain in their genetics programs, which will have a positive impact on the smallholder farmers who raise these birds, increasing nutritional intake and income.

Also, the partnership will ensure the SASSO breeds they cultivate are adapted to the local needs and environmental pressures of Sub-Saharan Africa, including heat, feed, various diseases, and different housing systems.

“As Hendrix Genetics, we are very pleased with our partnership with NEOGEN in the SAPPSA project. Through this partnership we can capitalize on the knowledge and expertise of NEOGEN in the domain of genomic selection.

“This will enable us to even better meet the needs of the smallholder farmers in Africa,” said Johan van Arendonk, Chief Innovation & Technology Officer at Hendrix Genetics.

The adoption of new technologies such as Hendrix’s genotyping, will steer ahead the sector into sustainable growth.

In other related news, a newly established poultry farm with a capacity of 6,000 tons per year has been inaugurated in Mozambique.

The Mafavuka Chicken Production Centre is set to have 12 pavilions, each with the capacity to house 56,000 chicks per breeding cycle, once fully completed.

Currently, it has two pavilions with each the capacity to produce 500 tons of chicken per year, reports Club of Mozambique.

The centre is budgeted at US$10 million, and is expected to increase domestic chicken production by around 15%.

Meanwhile, in Nigeria, the National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) has inaugurated a poultry farm spanning 20 hectares in the state of Yobe in the north of the country.

The farm has 10 enclosures with a holding capacity of 30,000 birds, as well as an egg incubation center, expected to produce about 250,000 boilers for sale annually.

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