Hendrix-Genetics Receives Grant for Africa Project


The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded a multi-year grant to Hendrix-Genetics to establish a breeding program to develop strains suitable for rural Africa supplying smallholder farmers.


The project entitled Sustainable Access to Poultry Parent Stock to Africa will provide improved dual-purpose breeds intended to perform under difficult conditions on the Continent.

Louis Berrault, General Manager of Sasso stated, “We are excited to use our extensive expertise in poultry breeding to benefit smallholder farmers in Africa.”  He added, “With the Foundation’s support we are committed to further build on a sustainable infrastructure to supply healthy parent stock across Africa.”

Randall Ennis, CEO of the World Poultry Foundation commented, “This project will give a huge boost in realizing how the Foundation’s mission of poultry as a solution for the hungry as it empowers farmers to build a better life with improved breeds to secure their income.”


Although improved genetics will be beneficial, restraints to achieving acceptable production at the smallholder level include adequate nutrition and disease.  A model which has proved successful in some nations involves distribution of started pullets to be housed under confinement in villages.  Distribution of day-old chicks without a support structure for vaccination and absent a supply of balanced feed is a worthless exercise.


In the context of urban demand in nations with an infrastructure of harbors, roads and domestic production of feed ingredients and a cold chain for distribution, using improved specialty breeds for eggs and broilers respectively, represents a greater benefit to the population based on superior performance especially in feed conversion.