FAO highlights role of livestock keepers in breeds

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has recognized the contribution of smallholders and pastoralists to the development, use and conservation of animal genetic resources.

FAO’s Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture presented a 42-page paper detailing the role of livestock keepers in developing and maintaining breeds at an intergovernmental working group on animal genetic resources in Rome on 28-30 January 2009.

The paper highlights the value of these breeds, the genes they contain and the ecosystem services they provide (such as maintaining landscapes, preventing fires and restoring soil fertility). It warns about the dangers to local breeds from the promotion on exotic breeds, the spread of uniform, mass-marketed animal products, and the extension of cropping into marginal grasslands.

The League welcomes FAO’s support of these ideas, which have long been promoted by LPP and the LIFE network.

Click here to download the full paper.