Due to the pressure for higher animal output and the trend to promote the highly specialized breeds, farmers in Uganda have been replacing or crossbreeding local breeds with exotic breeds. However, due to lack of guidance to suitable breeding strategies for the different livestock in the different agro-ecological zones, many farmers indiscriminately breed their indigenous livestock. This has not only been expensive but also yielded little improvements in animal performance while causing genetic erosion of the adapted indigenous livestock. Maintaining diversity of animal genetic resources is essential to satisfy basic human needs for food and livelihood security. Genetic diversity ensures that different species and breeds are able to adapt to different climatic conditions by allowing the expression of advantageous traits influencing adaptability to harsh environments, productivity and disease resistance. Genetic research to optimally utilize the advantageous traits increases production potential, efficiency and genetic gains for enhanced productivity.
Current research undertakings are geared towards producing superior meat and egg producing indigenous chicken lines; streamlining goat breeding through establishing and supporting community based breeding schemes; and enhancing dairy and beef cattle productivity through genetic improvement of indigenous cattle breeds in Uganda. The core activities in our breeding program are focused on both genotypic and phenotypic identification, characterization and evaluation of important productive and economic traits in indigenous livestock
This research aims at improving indigenous livestock for productivity and resource use efficiency while ensuring adaptation to the existing environmental conditions. Use of highly productive, resource efficient and environmentally adapted livestock will enhance farm productivity and farmer incomes to improve livelihoods of livestock farming communities in Uganda.