The Indigenous Chicken Improvement Programme (InCIP), with support from the Government of Malawi, Agricultural Sector Wide Approach Programme (ASWAP) together with the conference organisers, facilitated Judith C. Kanyama and Yvonne S. Kamanga, both final year students pursuing Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Animal Science at LUANAR, to attend a conference on Sustainable Animal Agriculture for Developing Countries (SAADC) in China from 27 – 31 July, 2013 that was patronised by participants from 26 countries.
The students were accompanied by a member of Staff Mr. D. Chiumia, a Dairy Science and Technology Lecturer from the Department of Animal Science (DAS) who was in addition, supported by Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) – SRUC Dairy Diploma Project, Scottish Government International Development Fund funds.
SAADC is a biannual conference on Sustainable Animal Agriculture for Developing Countries which started in 2007.
This series of conferences are designed to provide a platform for the exchange of experience and knowledge among academicians, researchers, graduate students and producers for development of sustainable animal husbandry in developing countries.
The students presented the results from their respective research projects conducted in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the BSc degree.
Judith made an oral presentation on the effect of age, introducing different breeds of chickens to scavenging for growth and survival while Yvonne presented a poster on the effects of parity on indigenous chicken (IC) egg size, number of eggs and hatchability.
Despite the huge number of presentations at the conference, LUANAR students managed to shine. This was reviewed when Yvonne was recognised among the top ten young scientist participants.
“I’m very excited that I have won this award, this has given me the reason to dream even bigger”, Yvonne Said. Judith who also works at Chitedze Research Station in Lilongwe as a livestock scientist had this to say, “I have been impressed with the technologies in use by smallholder farmers which can be replicated in Malawi such as biogas production from sheep and surface irrigation under soil covering film, of-course some may need validation”.
In her words Dr. F. Chigwa, the Head of DAS said that the Department is very thankful to the students for putting LUANAR on the Map. According to Prof. J.P. Mtimuni; the Research and Seminar coordinator in the Department, “this is the first of its kind in the history of Bunda as a higher learning institution to send undergraduate students to international conferences, this should be emulated and surely it will contribute to quality research among students”.
“InCIP is achieving some of its peripheral targets in capacity building and publication and as a programme it is grateful to Malawi Government, ASWAP with support from World Bank for complementing LUANAR efforts in promoting IC”, Dr. T. N. Gondwe, InCIP coordinator commented.