Due to limited studies on genetic improvement of native chickens with no effort recorded in Mozambique and Uganda, the African Union Commission recently provided a grant to a research consortium led by Eduardo Mondlane University, Mozambique to work on Marker-assisted breeding (MAB) of native chickens in both Mozambique and Uganda (AURG-II-2-115). In the spirit of information exchange and networking of this project, the 15th RUFORUM AGM scientific sessions were born. The purpose of the scientifc sessions was to share information on research advances on livestock systems and other topical issues affecting agriculture and livestocks in Africa. The scientific sessions were attended by more than 194 scientists, students and policy makers from across Africa and international scientists. There was a special emphasis of the meeting on marker assisted breeding of chickens in Africa. The MAB project seeks to improve performance of native chickens for body weight and egg production while maintaining adaptability to the free range system. In Mozambique and Uganda, village poultry production is an important component of rural livelihoods and development. Most chickens are kept in small-scale extensive traditional systems in rural areas and supply meat and eggs that constitute almost the only source of animal protein and source of income for most rural families (Mavale, 2001; UBOS, 2016). Compared to other livestock species, chickens are fast-growing and prolific and produce meat and eggs over a short time-span. This project builds on a pilot project in Uganda involving a partnership between National Animal Genetic Resource Centre and Data Bank (NAGRC) in collaboration with Arizona State University (ASU), supported by the Uganda Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) that used a novel strategy, previously untested in Africa, to substantially increase returns from family flocks (FAO, 2011). NAGRC introduced into rural family farm flocks, a high-performing hybrid chicken called Kuroiler. It is a low-maintenance, highly productive semi-scavenger that has been thriving in Indian villages for over 15 years. It is dual-purpose, bred for both egg and meat production by Keggsfarm in India Although similar in appearance to indigenous chickens, Kuroiler chickens produce nearly five times the number of eggs per year (150-200 versus 40) and attain almost twice the body weight (3.5 kg versus 2 kg) in less than half the time of indigenous backyard chickens ( node/21034).The Kuroiler chickens demonstrated a 205% and a 140% superiority over local chickens in weight at 20 weeks of age under intensive conditions and free range respectively (Kayitesi, 2015). The study in Uganda demonstrated no genotype by management interaction, making the Kuroiler chicken superior to local chicken regardless of the system of production. According to FAO (2013), a 30% difference is enough justification to warrant introducing a genetic resource. The NAGRC and RUFORUM pilot projects both prove that Kuroiler performance in Uganda complement those of India, supporting the recommendations of replicability of the Kuroiler and its value chain innovation. The Kuroiler chickens and its business model were tested and shown to work and the innovation documented as scalable (Ahuja et al., 2008). This project is being implemented by Eduardo Mondlane University (Mozambique), partnering with Gulu University, Makerere University (Uganda), Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET), and International Rural Poultry Centre (Mozambique). Associate partners are Agriculture Research Institute of Mozambique (IIAM) and Chick Masters Limited (CML), while the research and Education based technology dissemination approach to promote kuroiler chicken production is being piloted by the Research and Education Agency ( The study has just been initiated with baseline studies already done in Mozambique and Uganda.