As decided by the General Meeting of the INFPD (International Network for Family Poultry Development) held in 1997 in MėBour, Senegal, the First INFPD/FAO Electronic Conference on Family Poultry was run from 7 December 1998 to 5 March 1999. However, because of the great interest of subscribers and their active participation, the duration of the Conference was extended until 22 July 1999. The general theme of the Conference was: "The Scope and Effect of Family Poultry Research and Development". The objectives were to (a) collect information related to all aspects of family poultry production systems from various parts of the world, (b) disseminate available information for discussion among participants, (c) identify where information is currently missing and set an agenda of priorities for research and development, (d) investigate approaches, methods and tools which could contribute to identifying at farm level the most relevant family poultry farming systems. The identified production systems could then be disseminated in the areas where they are most appropriate.
This Conference included 151 participants from more than 50 countries, among them 35 developing countries, as well as many international organizations (FAO, CTA, IDRC, ACIAR, IFAD, etc.), NGOs (DANIDA, FUNDACION HERENCIA VERDE, VETERINAIRES SANS FRONTIERES, PROSHIKA, etc.), Universities and Research Centres. Participant profile of the Conference was as follows: Researchers and extension workers (27 percent), teachers and lecturers (25 percent), staff of international organizations (19 percent), consultants and advisors (12 percent), programme co-ordinators (6 percent), students (4 percent), management/policy level (4 percent) and editors of scientific journals (3 percent). Among the subscribers, 41 participated actively either through sending articles or making comments. This represents about 27 percent active participation, which is a high level, since values of about 20 percent or less are generally regarded as typical and acceptable figures.
The papers included one introductory paper, five lead papers from selected authors and 14 free communications. These initiated discussions: about 50 comments/observations/queries/replies were exchanged among participants, excluding the final comments/appreciation/remarks.M
All papers and comments are available on the Internet.