Since 1999, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) has partnered with the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) to provide capacity building on the sustainable use of Animal Genetic Resources (AnGR).
This report by Julie Ojango, Birgitta Malmfors, Okeyo Mwai, and Jan Philipsson on Training the trainers – An innovative and successful model for capacity building in animal genetic resource utilization in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia was released by ILRI and SLU on 31 December 2011.
Scientists from 46 developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia have been trained on animal breeding and genetics developments, implementation of breeding strategies, and on teaching and communication methods.
Livestock accounts on average for about 30% of the agricultural GDP in developing countries, yet the productivity of many livestock populations is inadequate due to a complexity of factors. The genetic variability between and within species and breeds is largely unexploited at the same time as a continuous loss of genetic diversity takes place. Livestock productivity must increase to meet the projected demand for doubled meat and milk production within a few decades in developing countries, while minimizing environmental impact. These challenges require highly skilled people to lead the development in the desired direction. Unfortunately, developing countries suffer from a shortage of trained people, not least in the area of animal breeding and genetics, both at research and higher education institutions and in organizations responsible for livestock development.
It is in this context that the ILRI-SLU project has developed its philosophy of ‘training the trainers’ to effectively multiply knowledge and concepts to new generations of students, researchers and policy makers. This synthesis report provides insights and reflections on the project’s outputs and outcomes, and informs on the ways forward in terms of further investment in developing and strengthening human capacity in the field of AnGR.