ADGG is working with initial core set of about 2,000 small and medium sized dairy farms in each country, with at least 2 dairy cows per farm for smallholders, and at least 10 cows for medium sized farms, and helping them initiate on-farm performance recording. The program will later recruit another 10,000 individual smallholder dairy herds in each country to capture data on current production and management systems.
These farmers are being given tools to capture on-farm performance information on economically relevant performance and functional traits. In addition to providing feedback to farmers to help them improve their productivity, the data from farms is being used to evaluate about 200–300 bulls per country annually. Of these, the best bulls will be certified for use to breed future cows through artificial insemination (AI) and natural mating.
ADGG is looking to annually certify a pool of proven cross-bred bulls in each country, which will be available for use in semen collection for AI breeding. The program is also establishing the national Dairy Performance Recording Centers (DPRC) in each country as farmer-centred platforms that are led by national teams that are technically supported by the ILRI-led program consortia members (University of New England (UNE), Scotland Rural College (SRUC), Green Dream Technologies (GDT), Tanzanian Livestock Research Institute (TALIRI), National Artificial Insemination Center (NAIC)-Ethiopia and Land O’ Lakes (LOL).
These centres will recruit at least 12,000 dairy herds in each country by the third year of the project. This network of dairy farm recording will be sufficient to generate the data required to build the platform for identifying future generations of crossbred bulls.
ADGG is running parallel to a sister BMGF investment in a private-public Partnership for Artificial Insemination Delivery (PAID). The Land O’ Lakes-led PAID program is scaling-out outdoor-step AI delivery and heifer multiplication in Tanzania and Ethiopia by providing farmers with access to hundreds of thousands improved cross-bred semen and eventually cows.