Improving village chicken production to elevate livelihoods of poor people in Ethiopia


Chickens are the only affordable livestock for the poor and improving their production level can improve the livelihood of the village farmers, and thus serve as a stepping stone out of extreme poverty. Production levels of indigenous chicken can be improved by organised breeding.  It will be investigated how the breeding programme can be best embedded in supply and sales chain and linked to training and support of village farmers to ensure that breeding contributes to reduction of poverty and hunger. The programme will build on the ongoing breeding program established in 2008 at the Debre Zeit Research Center of the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR). This program aims for genetic improvement of Horro population of chickens through selective breeding. The ultimate goal is to develop a blue print for improving village poultry production by integrating breeding, marketing, and training. On-farm studies will take place in selected villages in Ethiopia to evaluate the performance of improved breeds subjected to different production circumstances building on existing experiences of project partners. Special attention will be given to impact of differences in amount and quality of feed on the performance of different breeds.


The project funded by the Koepone Stichting has a close link to the African Chicken Genetic Gains program (ACGG). ACGG is an Africa-wide collaboration led by the International Livestock Research Institute. Part of the wider ‘LiveGene‘ initiative, ACGG tests and makes available high-producing, farmer-preferred genotypes that increase smallholder chicken productivity in Africa. The program approach is characterized by 5 principles that guide the delivery of results and outcomes. The program is supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. For more information on ACGG: