Zimbabwe: Scientists Call For Genetic Diversity

ZIMBABWE - Veterinary science experts from the developing world are calling for the establishment of gene banks to conserve livestock diversity and promote the indigenous breeds which are disease-resistant and suitable for poor farmers in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
calendar icon 25 September 2007
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This comes after the Food and Agriculture Organisation unveiled the world's first report on the global inventory of farm animals which indicates that indigenous livestock breeds in Africa, Asia, and Latin America are at risk of extinction.

The majority of scientists from Africa, Asia and Latin America, who met recently at the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), say there is an urgent need to establish gene banks to conserve the sperm and ovaries of key animals critical to enhance the world's animal biodiversity.

Biodiversity is a term widely used by scientists and environmental experts to describe the full range of living things in a particular area or on the earth as a whole. It is a measure of the richness of life valuable both to humans and other forms of life.

The new report, titled "The State of the World's Animal Genetic Resources", was compiled by FAO in collaboration with the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and other research groups across the world.

The animal study, which was done in some 169 countries, showed that multinational corporations in the agro-livestock sector in the developing world promoted the use of a limited range of animal breeds such as high-milk-yielding Holstein-Friesian cows, egg-laying White Leghorn chickens, and fast-growing Large White pigs.

Source: AllAfrica.com

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