Neogen partners with Hendrix Genetics to boost poultry quality in Africa

AFRICA – NEOGEN Corporation, a developer of food and animal safety products has partnered with Hendrix Genetics, a leading multi-species animal breeding, genetics, and technology company to support the implementation of genomic selection into Hendrix’s Sustainable Access to Poultry Parent Stock in Africa (SAPPSA) program, aimed at ensuring the supply of high-quality parent stock to African smallholder farmers.

This addition will help accelerate the company’s existing recurrent test program by genotyping the elite animals across the breeding program, ensuring the SASSO breeds they cultivate are adapted to the local needs and environmental pressures of Sub-Saharan Africa, including heat, feed, various diseases, and different housing systems.

“We are pleased to join Hendrix Genetics in their mission to help secure the supply of high-quality parent stock to African smallholder farmers. By helping to incorporate genotyping into Hendrix Genetics’ excellent breeding program, we can ensure that the correct birds for the environment are chosen, and we are able to support the sustainable development of farming practices while helping educate on the best practices for nutrition, housing, and poultry biosecurity. The SAPPSA project positively impacts the lives of millions of people, and NEOGEN is thrilled to be a part of building a more sustainable future for us all,” said Marylinn Munson, Vice President of Genomics at NEOGEN.

The SAPPSA project was initiated to provide African farmers with sustainable genetic solutions in order to offer them a pathway out of poverty. In 2018, the project received a multi-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with the objective to secure access to poultry parent stock, improve dual-purpose breeds for African smallholder farmers, and grow African Poultry Multiplication Initiatives (APMI) across the continent.

Hendrix Genetics embarked on data collection on their existing poultry population located in Burkina Faso in 2020. The offspring of these elite birds were then tested for growth and egg production characteristics in this tropical climate. The company will now work with NEOGEN Genomics to genotype the elite animals in the population.

With the inclusion of genotyping, Hendrix Genetics will be able to upsurge genetic gain in their genetics programs, which will have a positive impact on the smallholder farmers who raise these birds, increasing nutritional intake and income.

“As Hendrix Genetics, we are very pleased with our partnership with NEOGEN in the SAPPSA project. Through this partnership we can capitalize on the knowledge and expertise of NEOGEN in the domain of genomic selection. This will enable us to even better meet the needs of the smallholder farmers in Africa,” said Johan van Arendonk, Chief Innovation & Technology Officer at Hendrix Genetics.

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