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.
Hundreds of Nigerian chicken farmers in the southwestern state of Oyo have expressed interest in using cassava mash in poultry feeds. In two meetings of the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) in late March 2018, many farmers said they feel they may have found a viable low-cost high-quality alternative in the cassava mash.
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 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.
A review paper just published online tells us more than (we might have thought) we’d like to know about how poultry production, conducted on small scales and in poor settings, affects food security. The review appears in Global Food Security (available online 2 May 2017).