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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Animal Genomics and Improvement Laboratory » Research » Research Project #427456

Research Project: African Goat Improvement Network: Village Breeding Programs in Malawi and Uganda

Location: Animal Genomics and Improvement Laboratory

Project Number: 8042-31000-001-04-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2014
End Date: Sep 30, 2018

Objective:
To 1) develop village-based breeding programs for small holder goats at selected sites in Uganda and Malawi; 2) select and train one PhD student in village breeding programs and livestock genetics related to genetic improvement (one student per site); and 3) use DNA tools to analyze founder animals and subsequent improved descendents as well as attempt to facilitate selection of goats within the village breeding programs.

Approach:
Village breeding programs (VBP) will be established with smallholders in two nearby communities within a single site with one site each in Uganda and Malawi. The VBP will provide instruction to small holders about common animal husbandry methods, product marketing, and positive selection of superior individuals for breeding of future generations. The Cooperator (BOKU) staff and students are responsible for interviewing/selecting smallholders, devising breeding objectives with farmer input, facilitating farmer cooperative formation, selecting founding population of breeding animals, collecting animal samples, coordinating activities with ASARECA and other collaborative groups, and analyzing data analysis of phenotypes and genotypes derived from the VBP. Animal genotypes will be derived from either commercial or custom SNP panels. The genetic analyses and integration of tools into the VBP leverages the resources derived from the Caprine Genome, the ADAPTmap project and genotypic data derived from the USDA African Goat Improvement Network under the Feed the Future Initiative.