CGIAR / Engagement / ILRI / Livestock / LIVESTOCK-CRP / Research

Research on animal genetics

The animal genetics flagship works towards choices of improved breeds readily available, affordable and used widely and sustainably. It works on:

  • Understanding, characterisation, utilization and conservation of livestock phenotypes and genotypes in relation to future production systems
  • New and appropriate breeds: application of new opportunities in genomic and reproductive technologies
  • Effective delivery systems: breeding schemes, institutional arrangements
  • Policy and institutional support
  • New opportunities for business: especially involving youth and women
  • Increased capacity to undertake research in livestock genetics and genomics

Question

6. What are the most promising gains that we can expect for smallholders from animal genetics research discovery and delivery? How do we best achieve these?

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One thought on “Research on animal genetics

  1. I am sure small holder farmers would appreciate increased reproductive efficacy and productivity of their animals, i.e., increased numbers of offspring with increased survival, weight gain and milk production under ambient disease conditions without vaccination or chemotherapy or other methods of disease control. It seems likely this could be assisted in herds under common grazing where the strongest proximal male takes the day and the strongest female has the highest chance of yielding healthy offspring, by increasing the frequency of “strong x strong” matings particularly among animals known to have responded to an controlled regional endemic diseases evidenced by antibody and T cell response screens. In this situation, productivity might be further increased by land management practices that encourage improved pasture. Perhaps small holder co-operatives could be encouraged to work towards these goals, while interested scientists could use their cutting edge techniques to tease out markers of disease resistance. I would be wary of importing improved breeds for small holder farming without first showing that this does not dilute emerging disease resistance in local herds.

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