Sustainable African Chicken

Published on Nov. 7, 2018

Hendrix Genetics to work with African farmers to develop their preferred chickens

Hendrix Genetics receives grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to improve the lives of African poultry farmers

Hendrix Genetics has been awarded a multi-year grant by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to improve poultry production in Africa. Under the grant, Hendrix Genetics will co-invest significant resources to set up a breeding program to develop breeds tailored for Africa and secure supply of improved poultry parent stock to African smallholder farmers.

The project, entitled Sustainable Access to Poultry Parental Stock to Africa (SAPPSA), will work with African smallholder farmers to develop a tailored breeding program that will provide access to improved dual-purpose breeds that perform well under different African conditions. Dual purpose breeds are key for smallholder farmers to create a consistent revenue source with production of both eggs and chicken meat that provides nutritious protein to the growing African population.

“We are excited to use our extensive expertise in poultry breeding to benefit smallholder farmers in Africa,” said Louis Perrault, General Manager of Sasso and involved from the onset. “With the foundation’s support, we are committed to further build on a sustainable infrastructure to supply healthy parent stock across Africa.”

Johan van Arendonk, Chief Innovation & Technology Officer is proud that Hendrix Genetics is able to help the African continent meet the growing demand for food and stated, “Access to improved breeds is essential. We are convinced we will successfully realize the projected goals with the combined knowledge of Hendrix Genetics and Sasso, specialized in colored chicken breeding, which has already successfully developed multiple chickens tailored to African ecosystems.”

This project will give a huge boost in realizing our foundation’s mission of poultry as a solution for hunger as it empowers farmers to build a better life with better breeds to secure their income.

Randall Ennis
CEO of the World Poultry Foundation

The project will be led by Hendrix Genetics’ Project Manager Dr. Naomi Duijvesteijn. She will work closely together with other ongoing initiatives, like the World Poultry Foundation and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), focused on improving rural poultry production in African countries to fight poverty.

Animal genetics has already played a key role in improving the sustainability of animal production in different parts of the world and will continue to do so in the future. With the combination of Hendrix Genetics’ solid sustainability program and investments such as the SAPPSA project, the future looks bright for agriculture and food production in Africa.