Harnessing genetic diversity for improved goat productivity

a470c.jpgGoats are a significant component of the livelihood of smallholder farmers and pastoralists in Cameroon and Ethiopia. With funding from the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs through Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) the goat project brings together partners in both countries aim to increase goat productivity through strengthening the capacity of national goat breeding programs. This includes studying the goat diversity in these countries, knowledge of which is critical to empower breeders to develop better goats suited to resource-poor people; and developing ICT-based tools to support management decisions through the production chain.

Household surveys are underway to characterize goat production systems in Ethiopian and Cameroon. Parentage testing of elite bucks, surveillance of possible inbreeding in goat populations and to ascertain genetic composition of elite crossbreed bucks before exchange or sale. will be conducted.

 The team is also investigating the genetic basis of the extraordinary reproductive capacity of West African Dwarf goats, to accelerate their use in breeding of non-dwarf goats with similar high capacity to reproduce.

The possibility of using mobile telephony to help farmers to improve recording and farm enterprising management is also being explored.  The tools and breeds developed by this project will enhance the food security of the millions of farmers who depend on goats for their livelihoods. 

The partners

Led by the BecA-ILRI Hub, the goat project is being conducted in collaboration with the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR), Institute of Biodiversity Conservation (IBC), Tigray Regional Agricultural Research Institute (TARI), Amhara Regional Agricultural Research Institute (ARARI), Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority (EWCA) and South Regional Agricultural Research Institute (SARI) in Ethiopia; University of Dschang, Institute for Agricultural Research for Development (IRAD) and Small Ruminant Support Programme (PADPR) in Cameroon; and the Nelson Mandela African Institute for Science and Technology (NM-AIST), Tanzania.

More information

For more information about the project, contact project leader Professor Morris Agaba at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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