The USAID Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Genomics to Improve Poultry seeks to improve the production of chicken and eggs by households and small farmers, and thereby improve food security, nutrition and livelihoods in Africa -- key goals of the Feed the Future Program.

Second Phase: The emphasis of the Genomics to Improve Poultry Innovation Lab during this phase is to develop a comprehensive platform for genetic selection of resilience to Newcastle virus (NDV) and other economically important traits. The program will validate the enhanced resilience to Newcastle disease (ND) in African indigenous chicken ecotypes using genetic selection platform, and characterize circulating strains of NDV in Ghana and Tanzania.

During this five-year period, we will conduct a poultry value chain assessment and develop a business plan for breeding and distribution of chicken line with enhanced ND resilience. We will collaborate with public and private poultry sectors in Tanzania and Ghana to apply the technology to improve ND resilience in indigenous chickens, and train breeders and farmers on use the genetic selection platform.

First Phase:The five-year research program applied advance genetics and genomics approaches to sustainably enhance innate resistance to Newcastle disease and heat stress in chickens to improve production.  

The research program is being implemented through a partnership of the University of California at Davis, Iowa State University, Sokoine University of Agriculture -Tanzania, the University of Ghana, and the University of Delaware. The program will develop a small panel chip for implementing genetic selection against Newcastle disease and heat stress based on associated genetic variants identified in Chicken ecotypes from East and West Africa and among some commercial lines.