Twitter Moment highlights of ‘Incubated Worlds’, a unique art+poultry facility launched at ILRI’s campus in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 26 Apr 2018.
ILRI and Flemish conceptual artist Koen Vanmechelen joined forces last year to strengthen research into more resistant and productive poultry for Africa south of the Sahara. Today, the research center and associated poultry farm “Incubated Worlds” opens in the presence of Gebregziabher Gebreyohannes, state minister, ministry of agriculture and livestock. Vanmechelen wants to help improve the lives of local communities through this crossing project.
Researchers in Ethiopia are embarking on a quest to create the perfect chicken for African farmers with an unlikely ally—a Belgian conceptual artist who has spent 20 years crossbreeding indigenous chickens, from China and Egypt to Senegal and Cuba.
According to Reuters, the Gates Foundation will pump $40m into research for higher-yielding dairy cows, as well as chickens that lay better quality eggs, livestock vaccines and ‘supercrops’ that can withstand droughts or disease.
The Ethiopian Society of Animal Production (ESAP) celebrated its silver jubilee last month. The event was marked on 24-25 August 2017 at Haramaya University where ESAP held its 25th Annual Conference on the subject ‘Livestock – a driver for economic development’.
The idea that the humble chicken could become a savior of wildlife will seem improbable to many environmentalists. But as the human population grows at a rate that rapidly outpaces the ability of natural habitats to feed it, a better backyard chicken could be a real hope for people and wildlife alike.
The African Chicken Genetic Gains project is on a mission to bring ‘more productive chickens to African smallholders’. Led by ILRI, and backed by the deep pockets of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the African Chicken Genetic Gains project aims to improve the genetic makeup of African chickens. The initiative, which is initially being rolled out in Ethiopia, Nigeria and Tanzania, is part of what the Microsoft founder has called his ‘big bet’ on chickens, which also includes a promise to donate 100,000 of the birds to families and communities in the world’s poorest nations. . . .