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Christian Keambou Tiambo: Understanding the diversity of indigenous chicken populations of Cameroon

ed3e5.jpgChristian Keambou Tiambo is a lecturer at the University of Buea, Cameroon. He is also the African Principal Investigator – “Development and sustainable breeding of local chicken for improved productivity” joint African and Brazil project and a recipient of the BecA-ILRI Hub's Africa Biosciences Challenge Fund (ABCF) fellowship

Christian Keambou was awarded a fellowship for a period of four months from 15 January – 26 May 2012 to study the diversity of indigenous chicken populations of Cameroon, and to link molecular data to the phenotypic data previously collected in the country.

Local chicken are the most widespread livestock in rural Africa, present in 85% of rural households. They present a unique opportunity for savings, investment and guard against risk for smallholder farmers in developing countries as they are technically and financially easy to breed and are mostly kept by women and children. Indigenous chicken are a high quality protein source for the family and a living asset which can quickly be liquidized in case of financial emergency. However, the productivity of local breeds of chicken is low as compared to that of commercial breeds. Increased production of local chicken in Cameroon as in other developing countries can act as a pathway to alleviate food insecurity and poverty amongst smallholder farmers.

This study was focused on understanding the different physical and genetic traits of indigenous chicken which can make them better performers in terms of disease resistance and meat and egg production. Findings from the study will constitute the basis for efficient decision making for conservation and genetic improvement.

About his achievements Christian says:

"While at the BecA-ILRI Hub, I developed a concept note for the Africa-Brazil Agricultural Innovation Market Place. My concept note interested researchers from Brazilian Enterprise for Agricultural Research (Embrapa) Pantanal, Brazil and together we wrote a proposal on “Development and sustainable breeding of local chicken for improved productivity under local alternative feed management system and health control” that was selected for funding.The project is being implemented successfully in the South West and Western regions of Cameroon as well as in rural Brazil.

Thanks to the ABCF fellowship, I finalized and successfully defended my PhD and won the Africa Brazil grant. Both theses achievements contributed to my promotion from Assistant lecturer to Senior lecturer. Now many lecturers and students at my home institution and other national universities can benefit from my experience."

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