Improving genetic performance in Africa

Published on July 21, 2021

Improving genetic performance in Africa

Hendrix Genetics with the support of NEOGEN, experts in animal and food safety, has implemented genomic selection successfully into the SAPPSA (Sustainable Access to Poultry Parent Stock in Africa) program. This enables the company to accelerate the program and deliver better products to African farmers.

The SAPPSA program aims to operate in Sub Saharan Africa on the simple basis of sustainable development of the local poultry value chain by securing the connection between hatcheries, mother units, and smallholder farmers.

Around the world, our birds are challenged with local circumstances such as heat, local feed, various diseases, and different housing systems. The differences in local circumstance can be partly solved with a wide portfolio of different breeds. In addition, we have started a recurrent test program where we include the performance of our birds in challenging conditions into our breeding program. This enables us to select the right animals that thrive under these challenging conditions.

Improving the genetic performance of the chickens in Africa

The recurrent test program ensures that the SASSO breeds are adapted to the local needs and environmental pressures so that these birds will perform well for the local farmer.

The use of recurrent test genotypes through the support of NEOGEN will further increase the performance of our breeds in Sub Saharan Africa which will have a positive impact on families’ nutritional intake and income.

In 2020, we started to collect data on our breeding population in Burkina Faso. The offspring of elite birds are tested for growth and egg production in this Sub-Saharan region with a tropical climate. The next step in this program is to genotype the recurrent test animals housed in Burkina Faso.

Hendrix genetics is genotyping elite animals in all species to be able to increase genetic gain in all breeding programs. Genotyping in purebred lines is routine and has already resulted in considerable genetic progress across the different animal traits and breeds.


NEOGEN develops and markets comprehensive solutions dedicated to food and animal safety. The company's Food Safety Division markets dehydrated culture media and diagnostic test kits to detect foodborne bacteria, natural toxins, food allergens, drug residues, plant diseases, and sanitation concerns. NEOGEN's Animal Safety Division 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.

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