Africa / Animal Breeding / Biodiversity / Genetics / Indigenous Breeds

Africa’s native livestock key to a sustainable food supply

‘African livestock breeds have successfully adapted to many diseases and climatic changes

‘The genetically diverse and “exquisitely well adapted” traits of Africa’s livestock should be better harnessed to meet the continent’s needs.

‘Seventy per cent of Africa’s rural poor keep livestock and 200 million people depend on the animals for their livelihoods.

‘African livestock breeds have successfully survived, and adapted to, an extraordinary range of diseases and climate changes. But they are currently being displaced by “exotic” breeds imported from the developed world.

‘This trend — reflecting a drive to increase short-term productivity — seriously threatens long-term sustainability. As the uniquely adapted indigenous breeds are replaced by these ill-adapted ones, the genetic diversity of the livestock population is reduced. Such a decrease will limit farmers’ ability to selectively breed their animals to increase future productivity.’

More . . . (SciDevNet, 2 July 2010: Well Adapted Livestock Key to Sustainable Productivity)

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