FAO Launches Forum for Africa on Genetic Diversity

AFRICA - Development of Animal Genetic Resources (AnGR) is a priority for African countries where livestock production constitutes a very important component of the agricultural economy and contributes up to 30 per cent to agricultural Gross Domestic Product (GDP), says the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
calendar icon 12 November 2013
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This has been recognized by the Global Plan of Action for Animal Genetic Resources (GPA) which underlines the importance of Animal Genetic Resources for the development of livestock production to meet the future challenges. The need for inventory, characterization and monitoring of animal genetic resources has been stressed through numerous documents. According to The State of the World’s Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, more than 30 per cent of Animal Genetic Resources around the world are not characterized.

The GPA highlights the important role of Regional Focal Points (RFPs) and regional networking to build collaborative partnerships, to coordinate regional management efforts in animal genetic resources, to further develop information sharing, and for technical cooperation, training and research. RFPs have been established in a number of regions but Africa does not have yet its RFP for the management of AnGR. Nevertheless, progress has been made through the establishment of a Sub-Regional Focal Point (S-RFP) for Western and Central Africa.

The FAO Technical Cooperation Project “Assistance for Regional Initiative on Animal Genetic Resources in Africa” aims to establish the S-RFP for Eastern Africa and to strengthen capacities and the network on AnGR in Southern Africa.

The project contributes to the implementation of the African Union – Inter African Bureau of Animal resources’ (AU-IBAR) strategy, which sets the sustainable use of AnGR as a priority to mainstream livestock in the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development program (CAADP).

All researchers and professional interested in animal genetic resource management from Eastern and Southern Africa are invited to participate to the electronic forum (E-forum) Domestic Animal Diversity Network (DAD-Net) especially created for Eastern and Southern Africa: https://dgroups.org/fao/dad-net/eastsouthafrica.

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