The University of Georgia has received more than $440,000 as part of a collaborative research, outreach and education program aimed at encouraging sustainable poultry production in the west African country of Mali.
This project is part of a research program at Colorado State University and funded by the United States Agency for International Development in Mali under a $5.25 million Poultry and Pastoralism Associate Award.
The three-year program will be led by faculty in the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences departments of poultry science and agricultural and applied economics and the College of Veterinary Medicine pathology department. The program will be implemented in cooperation with the Mali Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, U.S. Agency for International Development Mission in Mali, the Malian Extension Service and faculty at Colorado State University.
“Research on improving poultry genetics, reproduction, nutrition, husbandry, disease prevention and marketing will especially impact women in rural areas who are the primary keepers of small flocks of chickens,” said Mike Lacy, head of the UGA poultry science department. “These women, along with their children, will directly benefit from increased income and improved nutrition.”
During the next three years, a small but expandable poultry hatchery will be built in Mali. Research on small-flock production will take place at this center, as will outreach, training and education on poultry husbandry and marketing. Additionally, the hatchery will serve the regional community by rearing and then supplying healthy baby chicks to farmers.
Ultimately, the center will be a model to help transfer poultry-rearing technology to producers, government agencies and development organizations while inspiring similar programs throughout the country and the region.
“UGA is recognized as having one of the premier poultry science and health programs in the world,” Lacy said. “The university has more than 30 [faculty members] with doctorates in various disciplines related to poultry science, health and production. UGA is actively engaged in research, education and extension related to poultry production in the U.S. as well as other countries.”
The Livestock-Climate Change CRSP was created in May 2010 through a grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development awarded to Colorado State University’s Animal Population Health Institute and their Institute for Livestock and the Environment. The goal of the program is to pursue interdisciplinary research, education and outreach in semi-arid regions to better the lives and livelihoods of small-scale livestock producers by developing strategies to help them cope with the impacts of climate change. For more information, visit www.csucrsp.org.