FAQs about saving livestock genetic resources

01.   What did ILRI/FAO find and how did you find it?
How: A global assessment of livestock genetic resources has been coordinated by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The assessment aimed to determine the status of the world’s livestock resources – what exists and where, what are their characteristics and the risks they may be facing, and what is the capacity of nations to deal with these. As an international organization addressing poverty through sustainable livestock production, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) develops research tools for characterizing livestock breeds of the developing world and assessing their diversity.

What?: The ‘assessment of the State of the World’s livestock resources’ (as this initiative was called) had the following findings:

  • Over 7000 breeds (representing mammalian and avian species) have been developed over the last 12,000 years, since the first livestock species was domesticated.
  • There are 40 livestock species used for food and agriculture, 5 of which – cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and chickens – account for most of the world’s food and agriculture production.
  • Some 696 breeds have become extinct since the early 1900s.
  • A total of 1,487 breeds are at risk, of which 579 are at critical levels (requiring immediate action).
  • Key causes of threat were identified (see examples below).
  • Lack of information on the world’s livestock resources—what livestock breeds and populations exist and  where, what are their characteristics, do they possess unique genetic diversity—was found to be a key impediment to their sustainable use.
  • Conservation programs are lacking, especially in developing countries where most of the world’s remaining breeds reside and where the risk of loss of livestock genetic resources is greatest

02.   Why do a few specialized ‘European’ breeds of farm animals dominate?

  • In pursuit of quick wins to increase productivity to meet demand, developing countries over the last half century have imported specialized, high-producing breeds, such as the black-and-white Holstein-Friesian dairy cow.
  • Aggressive promotion by breeding companies of the North.
  • Subsidized importation, usually through development assistance.
  • Exotic breeds have been imported into developing countries without adequate information on the robustness/hardiness/appropriateness of the native breeds the imports have been supplanting.

03.   How are the exotic imports faring in their various new locales in developing countries?
There are local niches where exotic breeds have proved productive. For example, Holstein-Friesian cows have done well in the East African highlands, which have temperate climate and adequate feed resources. However, the imports have been unable to cope with the disease, heat, humidity, scarce and poor-quality feed in many developing-country environments. Their inappropriateness for these stressful environments has tended to be discovered only after they have been widely used and have significantly ‘diluted’ the local gene pool, leaving local farmers without their traditional hardy animals.

04.   Why can’t we save all domesticated livestock breeds and populations?
Saving all existing livestock breeds around the world would require considerable investment. Fortunately, some specialized breeds in developed countries are currently safe or relatively safe because they remain popular with local communities and thus are supported by market forces. With globalization and ease of movement of traded commodities, there is increasing risk that fewer and fewer breeds will be supported this way. Many local traditional breeds support the livelihoods of the world’s poor livestock keepers in developing countries. While these native breeds are threatened by rapid changes occurring in the livestock production systems of poor countries, these countries lack the resources to conserve all their traditional native stock.

05.   Why is genetic diversity important in livestock?
Diversity is the basic ingredient for improving productivity, product quality and adaptation to meet different needs. It offers farmers and breeders the options needed to make adjustments to new market needs or to respond to changes in the production environment. A disease outbreak that wipes out a particular (susceptible) genetic type presents a greater risk in ‘monoculture’ (single-breed) production systems than it does in multi-breed systems. In other words, livestock diversity can help people cope with adversity while also providing prospects for livestock improvements. Changes in livestock production across the developing world, as well as an unpredictable future, require that these genetic options be safeguarded. It is particularly important to conserve livestock genetic resources because the ancestors of most of our existing livestock species no longer exist; crop breeding, on the other hand, has benefited enormously by being able to harness genes from the wild ancestors of our major crop plants.

06.   Can’t we just recreate desired traits via genetic engineering if necessary?
This will probably be technically feasible in the future for many production traits of interest in our livestock. And that is exactly why we need to have the diversity from which ‘new animal types’ could be created – whether through genetic engineering or conventional breeding (acceptability and costs, among others, will determine which ‘creation avenue’ is employed). Importantly, we do not know which traits we will need in future and which of the present breeds posses the requisite genes. Thus, as we develop technology and tools to conserve livestock genetic resources, we must also ensure that we have access to the raw materials—the livestock and/or their germplasm.

07.   Doesn’t industrialized agriculture obviate the need for such diversity?
As has happened in crop agriculture, industrialized livestock systems are typically characterized by a handful of specialized ‘breed types’. The chicken and pig industries have a few parental lines that form the basis of commercial chickens and pigs around the world. An outbreak of a disease to which these lines are susceptible could wipe out most of these animals, with disastrous global impacts. Thus, it is in the interests of both the public and private sectors to safeguard diversity in livestock as source of future options.

08.   How is foreign investment reshaping local livestock practices?

  • Direct foreign investment finances breeding companies that introduce foreign breeds.
  • The ‘supermarket revolution’, which is driven in many countries by foreign direct investment, is impacting livestock as well as crop agriculture in significant ways:

    o Standards required for food products sold in supermarkets influence such things as product quality, size  uniformity and timing of delivery.
    o The production volume needed to meet these food standards make it difficult for poor smallholders to participate in the supermarket revolution.
    o Contract-farming provides avenues for a few, well-informed and/or better-endowed farmers to participate in this revolution, sometimes through cooperatives.
   o But most smallholders are left out in this process.

09.   Do developed-world genebanks already hold some of this diversity material?
Developed-world genebanks hold very little livestock germplasm from developing countries—just a few breeds they may have imported for experimental evaluation. The major global flow of livestock genetic material has been from North to South. Currently, the fastest and most effective way for the North to help stem livestock biodiversity losses is to assist developing nations in establishing capacity to save their endangered native breeds. It is not good enough for Southern countries to depend on the North to be custodians of their livestock genetic material. The greatest livestock diversity remaining in the world is in the South and Northern countries are not highly interested in these breeds.

10.   Are rare breeds going to end up being preserved by hobbyists or organic enthusiasts?

In the developed world, there are examples of livestock breeds being preserved by livestock hobbyists or enthusiasts. In the developing world, most livestock owners are poor and the number of breeds needing attention is too large to be addressed by a few rich farmers. Alternative and substantive actions are required.

11.   How important is livestock production to developing world development?

Worldwide, one billion people are involved in animal farming and domestic animals supply 30 per cent of total human requirements for food and agriculture. In developing countries, 70 per cent of the rural poor depend on livestock as an important part of their livelihoods and livestock account for some 30 per cent of agricultural gross domestic product, a figure expected to rise to 40 per cent by the year 2030. Currently, more than 600 million rural poor people rely on livestock for their livelihoods. (Sixty-three per cent of the developing world’s total population live in rural areas, including 75 per cent of the 1.2 billion people trapped in extreme poverty; of these 900 million rural poor, some 70 per cent, or 630 million, raise livestock as part of their livelihoods.) The developing-world’s large and rapidly growing livestock markets make livestock production an income-generating opportunity similar to horticulture and other high-value agricultural commodities. The advantage of the livestock markets is that they are largely domestic and thus require no export infrastructure. Finally, livestock is what poor farmers know how to produce, and they have access to feed and other resources to produce it competitively.

12.   Does livestock production still offer a pathway out of poverty?
Yes. The growing livestock markets and expanding post-production value addition are providing jobs and incomes at many levels. Increasing animal production also of course keeps down critical food prices for the urban poor.

13.   Is another answer to simply scale back the use of livestock in general by reducing demand in the developed world while stopping demand before it starts in developing countries?
The livestock revolution is demand-driven. As consumers become more urbanized and their incomes grow, as they have in much of Asia and Latin America, their demand for animal products grows markedly. We expect that the developing world will double their consumption of animal products in the next 20 years. Livestock production growth to meet the growing market demand has to rely on the same or shrinking land, water and other natural resources. What we need are dramatic productivity increases. Policies will play a key role in shaping what happens in different parts of the world. If polices enforce more environmentally neutral production systems, this could lead to higher prices, particularly in the developed countries, which use intensive systems heavily reliant on external inputs and energy.

14.    How will the ‘supermarket revolution’ take hold in the developing world and what impact this will have on livestock production?
Supermarkets will impose stringent requirements on production of crops and livestock foods, particularly in terms of homogeneous large volumes and food safety conditions. This can make it increasingly difficult for smallholders to participate in these modern commodity chains. Important developments in terms of organizing smallholders for collective action are critical and are being established by agribusinesses and non-governmental organizations (e.g. contract-farming, vertical integration, cooperatives). Large-scale production units will continue to grow and can be developed in pro-poor ways by maximizing employment in poor areas that have resources suitable for animal production. For example, large-scale dairy or feedlot operations may contract forage production to small-scale farmers.

15.   Is the goal of saving diversity simply to boost the potential of alternatives to industrial animal husbandry, such as crop-livestock systems?
No, it is to provide options for the world. Even industrial systems will need animal genetic resources if significant shocks to the system happen, e.g. ban on antibiotics, climate change causing higher temperatures in certain regions and the spread of diseases from the tropics to the temperate world.

16.   Why is it important to boost crop-livestock systems?
Boosting crop-livestock production is the best way to sustain agricultural systems in large parts of the developing world. There are big inefficiencies in these systems that can be addressed with technology, better training and knowledge sharing.

17.   How far along with ‘landscape-livestock genomics’ are you? Is there even the beginnings of a map? When do you expect such a thing might be available?
The aim of landscape genomics is to learn from the co-evolution of livestock and their production systems and use the knowledge gained to better match different breeds with production circumstances. The approach employs molecular genetic tools to understand the genetic composition of livestock at the population level, using specified genetic regions (‘signatures of selection’) that appear targeted by key influencing factors in that environment. By overlaying this information with other sets of information such as agro-ecological maps, one can see what genetic material are candidates for use in which parts of the globe.
Where are we today? Independent of the genomics work, much progress is being made in modelling and mapping livestock systems, including how they are evolving in response to climate change. Development of tools for rapidly mapping genetic composition of populations is also advancing. Over the next 5 years, we plan to have made significant advances in this area and to have applied landscape genomics (even at a pilot scale) in the humid zone of West Africa, focusing on cattle populations.

18.  What do you hope to do next?
Urgent actions include:

  • With FAO and other collaborators, sensitize the global community about the value of conserving livestock genetic resources and mobilize greater support for saving the remaining livestock diversity in the developing world.
  • Focus on breeds already at risk, especially those in the FAO ‘critical list’.
  • Establish gene banks: Ex situ conservation (in gene banks) is seen as the fastest way to save some of these breeds, even if characterization information is inadequate or absent – a special session at the global conference in Interlaken (Switzerland) on 3 September 2007 discussed strategies to move this forward.
  • Facilitate the sharing of genetic material among developing countries, especially where there is evidence that a breed in one country holds promise for another, which will serve as long-term insurance against losses arising from droughts, civil conflicts, and other disasters.
  • Develop re-stocking strategies to ensure that appropriate breeds are used in the aftermath of disasters.
  • Develop pro-poor breeding strategies appropriate for low-input livestock production systems and infrastructure levels available in developing countries.
  • Identify factors that constrain competitiveness of indigenous breeds.

A ‘livestock meltdown’ is occurring as hardy African, Asian and Latin American farm animals face extinction

Scientists Call for Rapid Establishment of Livestock Genebanks To Conserve Indigenous Breeds
 

With the world’s first global inventory of farm animals showing many breeds of African, Asian, and Latin American livestock at risk of extinction, scientists from the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) today called for the rapid establishment of genebanks to conserve the sperm and ovaries of key animals critical for the global population’s future survival.

An over-reliance on just a few breeds of a handful of farm animal species, such as high-milk-yielding Holstein-Friesian cows, egg-laying White Leghorn chickens, and fast-growing Large White pigs, is causing the loss of an average of one livestock breed every month according to a recently released report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The black-and-white Holstein-Friesian dairy cow, for example, is now found in 128 countries and in all regions of the world. An astonishing 90 percent of cattle in industrialized countries come from only six very tightly defined breeds.

The report, “The State of the World’s Animal Genetic Resources,” compiled by FAO, with contributions by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and other research groups, surveyed farm animals in 169 countries. Nearly 70 percent of the entire world’s remaining unique livestock breeds are found in developing countries, according to the report, which was presented to over 300 policy makers, scientists, breeders, and livestock keepers at the First International Technical Conference on Animal Genetic Resources, held in Interlaken, Switzerland, from 3-7 September 2007.

“Valuable breeds are disappearing at an alarming rate,” said Carlos Seré, Director General of ILRI. “In many cases we will not even know the true value of an existing breed until it’s already gone. This is why we need to act now to conserve what’s left by putting them in genebanks.”

In a keynote speech at the scientific forum on the opening day of the Interlaken conference, Seré called for the rapid establishment of genebanks in Africa as one of four practical steps to better characterize, use, and conserve the genetic basis of farm animals for the livestock production systems around the world.

“This is a major step in the right direction,” said Seré. “The international community is beginning to appreciate the seriousness of this loss of livestock genetic diversity. FAO is leading inter-governmental processes to better manage these resources. These negotiations will take time to bear fruit. Meanwhile, some activities can be started now to help save breeds that are most at risk.”

ILRI, whose mission is poverty reduction through livestock research for development, helps countries and regions save their specially adapted breeds for future food security, environmental sustainability, and human development.

Industrialized countries built their economies significantly through livestock production and there is no indication that developing countries will be any different. Worldwide today, one billion people are involved in animal farming and 70 percent of the rural poor depend on livestock as an important part of their livelihoods. “For the foreseeable future,” says Seré, “farm animals will continue to create means for hundreds of millions of people to escape absolute poverty.”

In recent years, many of the world’s smallholder farmers abandoned their traditional animals in favor of higher yielding stock imported from Europe and the US. For example, in northern Vietnam, local breeds comprised 72 percent of the sow population in 1994, and within eight years, this had dropped to just 26 percent. Of the country’s fourteen local pig breeds, five are now vulnerable, two are in critical state, and three are facing extinction.

Scientists predict that Uganda’s indigenous Ankole cattle—famous for their graceful and gigantic horns—could face extinction within 50 years because they are being rapidly supplanted by Holstein-Friesians, which produce much more milk. During a recent drought, some farmers that had kept their hardy Ankole were able to walk them long distances to water sources while those who had traded the Ankole for imported breeds lost their entire herds.

Seré notes that exotic animal breeds offer short-term benefits to their owners because they promise high volumes of meat, milk, or eggs, but he warned that they also pose a high risk because many of these breeds cannot cope with unpredictable fluctuations in the environment or disease outbreaks when introduced into more demanding environments in the developing world.

Cryo-banking Sperm and Eggs
Scientists and conservationists alike agree that we can’t save all livestock populations. But ILRI has helped lay the groundwork for prioritizing livestock conservation efforts in developing regions. Over the past six years, it has built a detailed database, called the Domestic Animal Genetic Resources Information System (DAGRIS), containing research-based information on the distribution, characteristics, and status of 669 breeds of cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and chickens indigenous to Africa and Asia.

Seré proposes acceleration of four practical steps to better manage farm animal genetic resources.

1.) A first strategy is to encourage farmers to keep genetic diversity “on the hoof,” which means maintaining a variety of indigenous breeds on farms. In his speech, Seré called for the use of market-incentives and good public policy that make it in the farmer’s self-interest to maintain diversity.
2.) Another way to encourage “keeping it on the hoof,” Seré said, is by allowing greater mobility of livestock breeds across national borders. When it comes to livestock, farmers have to “move it or lose it,” he said. Wider distribution of breeds and access to them makes it less likely that particular breeds and populations will be wiped out by fluctuations in the market, civil strife, natural disasters, or disease outbreaks.
3.) The third approach that Seré is championing is a longer term one with great future potential for resource-poor farmers. It goes by the name of “landscape genomics” and it combines advanced genomic and geographical mapping techniques to predict which breeds are best suited to which environments and circumstances around the world.
4.) But for landscape genomics—or any of the other approaches—to work, of course, scientists will need a wide variety of livestock genetic diversity to work with. For this reason, the fourth approach Seré is advocating is long-term insurance to “put some in the bank,” by establishing genebanks to store semen, eggs, and embryos of farm animals. 

“In the US, Europe, China, India, and South America, there are well-established genebanks actively preserving regional livestock diversity,” said Seré. “Sadly, Africa has been left wanting and that absence is sorely felt right now because this is one of the regions with the richest remaining diversity and is likely to be a hotspot of breed losses in this century.”

But setting up genebanks is a first important step towards a long-term insurance policy for livestock. Seré noted that genebanks by themselves are not the only answer to conservation, particularly if they end up becoming “stamp collections” that are never used.

“Individual countries are already conserving their unique animal genetic resources. The international community needs to step forward in support,” said Seré. “We support FAO’s call to action and the CGIAR stands ready to assist the international community in putting these words into action.” 

Related information: 

 What Makes Livestock Conservation So Different from Plant Conservation?

 

 

North-to-South Livestock Gene Flows Crowd out Local Breeds

 

 

Livestock breeds face ‘meltdown’ (BBC News)

 

Visit the online press room for further information and a series of short films and high-quality images of the third world’s unique farm animal breeds.

Protecting breeds for people

Animal Genetic Resources Are a Key Tool for Coping with Change in the Livestock Sector
 

Livestock are ubiquitous in the developing world. The ‘big five’—cattle, sheep, goats, poultry and pigs—as well as 9 other popular farm animals and 26 or so more specialized species are raised by more than half a billion people either on pastoral rangelands by nomadic herders, or on mixed farms by smallholders who raise crops along with livestock, or in peri-urban areas by people who raise a few animals in their backyards. All of these small-scale livestock enterprises matter to developing-country governments because livestock account for some 30 per cent of their agricultural gross domestic product, a figure expected to rise to 40 per cent by the year 2030.

The diverse livestock production systems, like most crop production systems, are changing in response to globalization, urbanization, environmental degradation, climate change and science and technology. But the fastest changes are occurring within the livestock systems. That’s because the developing world’s rising human populations and household incomes are causing demand for milk, meat, eggs and other livestock foods to soar. As one would expect, livestock markets are growing and changing to serve that growing demand. What’s less appreciated are the changes being wrought by many of the billion-plus small-scale livestock keepers and sellers of the developing world who are changing the way they do business to help meet that growing demand.

The rate of change within the livestock sector is so rapid that many local populations of livestock developed by small-scale farmers over millennia no longer have time to evolve adaptations to their new circumstances or the new needs of their owners. They are simply dying out, and at unprecedented and accelerating rates. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that on average a breed disappears every month and that 20 per cent of our uniquely adapted breeds of domestic animals are at risk of extinction.

Over the last 150 years, farmers in industrialized countries supplanted their indigenous farm animals with a few high-producing breeds of a few species (chickens, pigs, cattle) suited to highly intensified production systems. The result is that 70 per cent of the world’s known livestock genetic diversity now resides on small farms and in remote regions of developing countries. With all the challenges facing developing countries and their one billion people living on less than a dollar a day, the question arises as to what immediate practical and cost-effective steps could be taken to preserve the wealth of their livestock genetic diversity.

From a research viewpoint, it’s clear that if we’re going to manage the world’s remaining livestock genetic resources well, we’ll have to characterize the remaining populations to decide which are worth saving and why, we’ll have to find ways of broadening use of those populations deemed useful, and we’ll have to conserve the most important livestock genetic diversity for possible future use—by poor and rich farmers alike.

From a political viewpoint, we’ll need new and appropriate institutional and policy frameworks, as well as lots of policy discussions, to find ways to strengthen national and international programs that support the conservation of livestock biodiversity.

While the political issues are being discussed at length at national and inter-governmental fora, four practical things can be started immediately to ensure that the world’s remaining livestock biodiversity is conserved for future generations.

(1) Keep it on the hoof.
Give local farmers and communities incentives for maintaining local livestock breeds by, for example, improving access by poor farmers and herders to markets, perhaps including niche markets, where they can sell their traditional livestock products.
 
 (2) Move it or lose it.
Encourage safe movements of livestock populations within and between countries, regions and continents to widen global access, use and conservation of farm animal genetic resources.
 
(3) Match breeds with environments.
Optimize livestock production by expertly matching livestock genotypes with farmer ambitions, fast-changing environments and specific natural resources, production systems and socio-economic circumstances.

 (4) Put some in the bank.
Freeze semen, embryos and tissues of local breeds and store them indefinitely to protect indigenous livestock germplasm against extinction due to the on-going declines in livestock diversity and to serve as long-term insurance against catastrophic losses due to wars, droughts, famines and other future shocks.

How science can help
It’s clear that most of the developing world’s indigenous livestock populations will not be able to adapt in time to their rapidly changing environments and circumstances; we’ll need new strategies and interventions to improve our conservation and husbandry of these resources. It’s also clear that advances in several scientific fields promise to give rise to those innovations.

On-going breakthroughs in livestock reproductive technologies and functional genomics, for example, as well as in the information fields of bioinformatics and spatial analysis, are being systematically marshaled for the first time to address this challenge.. And policy and agricultural systems analysts are today articulating more judicious thinking about the production and funding of global public goods.

Finally, whereas societies and countries tend to differ in their short-term interests in livestock production, their long-term interests—such as learning how to cope with unforeseen changes in livestock production systems and their environments—tend to converge. This creates real opportunities for international scientific, environmental and aid agencies to work with developing countries in collective action to conserve the world’s remaining livestock genetic diversity.

Visit the online press room for further information and a series of short films and high-quality images of the third world’s unique farm animal breeds.

Livestock biosciences for poverty alleviation: One more arrow in the quiver!

Proceedings of the 4th All Africa Conference on Animal Agriculture ‘The role of biotechnology in animal agriculture to address poverty in Africa’, now available for download

The theme of the 4th All Africa Conference on Animal Agriculture was ‘The role of biotechnology in animal agriculture to address poverty in Africa: Opportunities and challenges’. The conference, which was held in Arusha, Tanzania, in September 2005, was organized by the All Africa Society for Animal Production (AASAP) in association with the Tanzania Society for Animal Production (TSAP), and partnership with the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI). The recently released proceedings contain over 50 papers by leading experts in biotechnology covering animal health, genetic diversity and improvement and animal feeds and nutrition. The technologies reported ranged from the rather conventional approaches to the more advanced molecular techniques.

ILRI’s director general, Carlos Seré, and ILRI’s director of biotechnology, Ed Rege, presented a paper on Agricultural biotechnology for poverty alleviation at the first plenary session. The paper highlights opportunities for livestock biotechnologies in the areas of animal health through new/improved vaccines and diagnostics, genetic improvement of livestock, conservation of indigenous breeds and genetic diversity, and improving the nutritional quality of feeds. They argue animal agriculture will continue to be of considerable importance for poverty alleviation in Africa for some time to come, and that appropriate applications of biosciences can increase the pace of Africa’s agricultural and economic development.

‘Economic development in Africa will, of necessity, have to be initially linked to agriculture (broadly defined to include crop, livestock, forestry and fish). Staple crops and livestock are most likely to promote economic growth in the continent. To date, public sector investment in biotechnology in Africa has led to few products.

‘However, similar to what is happening in Asia and Latin America, there is a great opportunity for Africa to mobilize science to create wealth for its people and achieve higher economic growth.

‘If a new technology is useful and the price is right, the spread is almost unstoppable. Clearly, biotechnology is not a substitute for other technologies, but is an additional arsenal which should be used as and when appropriate to increase the pace of agricultural development. It is simply another arrow in the quiver!’

Copies of this new publication will be made available at the Africa Agricultural Science Week and the 4th Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) General Assembly in Johannesburg on 10– 16 June 2007.

Download the book: http://mahider.ilri.org/bitstream/10568/2275/1/Role%20of%20biotechnology.pdf

John Vercoe Conference: Animal breeding for poverty alleviation

The John Vercoe Conference and seventh Peter Doherty Distinguished Lecture will take place at ILRI headquarters in Nairobi 8-9 November 2007.
 


The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the John Vercoe Conference and the seventh Peter Doherty Distinguished Lecture. The conference theme is ‘Animal breeding for poverty alleviation – harnessing new science for greater impact’.

The John Vercoe Conference will be inaugurated by the Kenyan Minister of Science and Technology, Hon. Noah Wekesa and thereafter, followed by the presentation of a keynote paper by Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Further topics include:

  • Case studies of breeding programs within developing countries (Christie Peacock, Farm Africa, UK)
  • Breeding program design issues for small-holders (Ed Rege, ILRI)
  • New opportunities for reproductive technologies in developing countries (Johan van Arendonk, Wageningen University, Netherlands)
  • New DNA-based technologies and their prospects for developing countries (Julius van der Werf, University of New England, Australia / Brian Kinghorn)
  • How animal breeding relates to other interventions to reduce poverty (Ade Freeman, ILRI)

The conference will be held at ILRI headquarters in Nairobi on 8-9 November 2007. For further information and to register for the conference, go to the John Vercoe Conference website at: http://www.ilri.org/johnvercoeconference