The potential of crossbreeding indigenous chickens to improve rural food security and nutrition in Southern Africa – A review
The need to increase poultry production in southern Africa to meet the increasing protein
requirement of the growing population is becoming a great concern. The quality of poultry
meat and eggs produced in terms of taste, texture, flavour and leanness are of importance
to consumers. Crossbreeding indigenous with exotic strains of chickens is one of the main
factors that can improve food and nutrition security in southern Africa. In this article, ways
in which the quality and quantity of poultry meat and eggs can be improved for sustainable
food and nutrition security in southern Africa, with emphasis on crossbreeding as a
prospective food security (protein) stability technique are discussed. This article is based
on critical analysis of the literature and discusses and evaluates various crossbreeding
methods of chickens that have been carried out in African countries. Comparative studies
on the implementation, failures and successes of crossbreeding of chickens in African
countries, such as Egypt, Botswana, Malawi and South Africa among others are reviewed.
Crossbreeding, combined with selection, information dissemination, improved management
and technology, is recommended for the geometric increase in poultry meat and egg
production in southern Africa to improve food and nutrition security.