The African Dairy Genetic Gains (ACGG) program held a training course for National Agricultural Research System (NARS) staff to enhance their capacity to effectively carry out and manage their respective national dairy and livestock performance recording and genetic evaluation programs.
The ‘LUKE-ADGG quantitative genetics and animal evaluation joint course’ brought together 18 participants from Ethiopia and Tanzania and was held at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) campus in Addis Ababa on 5-9 June 2017.
The five-day course was facilitated by Enyew Negussie and Martin Lidauer, both senior scientists from the Natural Resources Institute in Finland, and Raphael Mrode, quantitative dairy cattle geneticist at ILRI.
Most of the participants are associated with ADGG activities in the Ethiopia and Kenya while others work with the ILRI-led African Chicken Genetic Gains (ACGG) program. The course offered an opportunity for staff from the two sister programs to work together.
Participants gained a basic knowledge of the computing environment and computational tools that are used by animal breeders; basics of linear mixed models; and estimation of variance components and prediction of breeding values. They also received hands-on skills in post-processing breeding value solutions to build indices, rank top bulls and cows. In addition, they learnt to use several software, to program in R, work in a Linux environment and to undertake breeding value prediction and estimation of variance components.
At the end of the course, a network of NARS in Tanzania and Ethiopia was established to ensure that the participants support each other in running the national Dairy Performance Recording Centres (DPRCs) in their countries.