With a human population growth rate of 4.8% per annum, there is an urgent need to increase food production in Kenya. Considering the growing land shortage, the proposed project aims at increasing livestock output and land productivity. The objective of this study is to evaluate the indigenous goat breeds in Kenya: the Small East African, the Galla and the Boran. The genetic resources will be characterised and appropriate breeding strategies for within-breed improvement recommended. A total of about 800 blood samples will be collected from female goats of all three breeds. In addition, production data will be collected and a questionnaire on management system filled in.
Allele and genotype frequencies will be estimated by using genetic markers (blood protein polymorphisms, DNA polymorphisms and blood types). The computed frequencies will be used to calculate the respective degrees of heterozygosity as a measure for genotypic variability, and the genetic distances between the breeds as a measure for differences in the genetic composition. Performance data and information on breeding and management strategies will be statistically analysed. Expected results will be: level and variability of the economically important traits (growth and lactation) for each breed, breed differences in similar environments, a characterization of breeding and management systems in the traditional goat husbandry and recommendations for an improved reproduction herd management.
The study intends also to ascertain relationships between genetic patterns and environmental adaptation of indigenous breeds at the example of the goat breeds of Kenya.
The proposed project will use advanced genetic techniques for animal breeding research in a developing country. However, the expected results will enable a sustainable improvement of the local goat breeds through Simple breeding measurements. Thus, negligible inputs will lead to considerable returns.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts