Event 2020-10-06: The Genomics to Improve Poultry Innovation Lab held a virtual annual meeting
This year, the GIP program endorsed the virtual platform to hold the annual meeting for the week of October 06, 2020. The online event brought together partners from Sokoine University of Agriculture, the University of Ghana, International Livestock Research Institute, Iowa State University, and the University of California Davis. We were honored to be joined by Dr. Tyrell Kahan, Livestock Research Advisor at Bureau for Resilience and Food Security, USAID. This year the AGM was an opportunity for the GIP team to strengthen the student's engagement through a well-organized session of PowerPoint presentations and posters. All members participated in dynamic discussions and brainstorming ideas on the future direction of the program. The principal investigator of each institute presented the highlights of their recent activities, funding and the plan for the coming year to identify additional genetic markers, biomarkers, and indicator traits associated with Newcastle (ND) resistance, ND vaccine efficacy, and other economically important traits (e.g. egg production and chicken growth rate). The event revealed that despite the pandemic and the traveling restrictions, our team and partners are working diligently and safely to attain the program’s primary goals; i) Development of a genetic platform for selection and breeding of local chickens with improved resilience to NDV; ii) distribution of genetically improved indigenous chicken lines to small farmers; iii) empowering women business owners and smallholder farmers along the poultry value chain in Tanzania and Ghana; and iv) capacity building for technology transfer in Africa. In order to create momentum, the last day was underlined with small groups discussion that were held through zoom links, to deliberate themes such as poultry breeder flock husbandry and health, data and sample inventory management, and logistics of coordination and communication. This year the virtual annual meeting served to reinforcing relationships among researcher members, students and endorsing the major purpose of this GIP partners; to achieve the goals of the Feed the Future Program in Africa, by increasing agricultural productivity and providing quality and quantity protein to the households and small farms, thus beneficial to women and children.