News & Events

Kuroiler Chicken Project

January 3, 2017

It was a warm summer day about seven years ago when Jagdev Sharma and two companions visited a village in rural Uganda to talk to the locals about chickens. A farmer introduced Sharma to several villagers. “I want you to meet somebody who has brought a bird to our country that is going to change our lives,” he said. “It was a very poignant moment,” said Sharma, a researcher at the ASU Biodesign Institute who has spent the past seven years introducing a fast-growing backyard...

NPR Rescued A Chicken That Tried To Cross The Road...

November 10, 2015

In Washington, D.C., today, NPR staffers rescued a beautiful, black-and-white hen that was darting about busy North Capitol Street by our headquarters. This demure urban chicken, who hung out in an NPR office in a mail crate with a bowl of water and granola bits, made us wonder about the lives of chickens in the low-income countries that our blog covers. To keep abreast, we turned to Jagdev Sharma, a research professor at Arizona State University who is well acquainted with the habits of...

Winged victory: a new chicken brings hope to Africa

February 3, 2015

In Uganda—as in most African countries—over 85 percent of families live in rural village conditions, where small-scale backyard poultry operations are ubiquitous. In addition to providing sustenance, the birds can help residents achieve economic and social independence in areas often plagued by cycles of impoverishment and depravation. This is particularly true for village women—traditional keepers of the flocks. Unfortunately, chicken breeds indigenous to Uganda often perform poorly...

Chicken and egg question (and answer) for rural Uganda

September 4, 2012

According to the USDA, Americans consume some 8 billion chickens and 75 billion chicken eggs annually. Despite the importance of chicken in the US diet however, few in this country rely on the birds for their economic livelihood.  In rural Uganda, as in much of Africa, chickens are more than a dietary staple. These animals are often an essential component of indigenous lifeways, providing local village women with both food for sustenance and a vital source of income.  Jagdev...

A New Breed: Highly productive chickens help raise Ugandans from poverty

July 20, 2011

In the fight to improve global health, alleviate hunger, raise living standards and empower women in the developing world, chickens have an important role to play.  Jagdev Sharma, a researcher at the Center for Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute has been investigating the advantages of a more productive species of chicken for villagers in rural Uganda. He reports his findings this week at the American Veterinary Medical Association...