Characterization, Conservation and Sustainable Utilization of Ethiopian Animal Genetic Resources: Status, Challenges and Opportunities. A review
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Characterization, Conservation and Sustainable Utilization of Ethiopian Animal Genetic Resources: Status, Challenges and Opportunities. A review.
This review is carried out to show the status, challenges and opportunities of Characterization, Conservation and Sustainable Utilization of animal genetic resources that have been implemented in the country. Animal genetic resources are playing a vital role in ensuring food security and maintaining ecological integrity. However, indiscriminate crossbreeding exercises driven by the demand to increase productivity, increasing change in land use and production systems, unsustainable use of genetic resources, frequent drought; natural and manmade disasters as well as disease epidemic are identified to be potential threats deteriorating the animal genetic resource in the country. Conservation is an action to ensure that the diversity of animal genetic resource is maintained to support sustainable contribution to food production. The three methods used for conservation of animal genetic resources are In-situ, Ex-situ and the combined conservation approach. Effective conservation of animal genetic resources is possible, only if the breeds are identified and documented adequately. The Ethiopian Biodiversity Institute implemented various phenotypic characterization and established in-situ conservation on different sheep, goat, cattle and chicken breeds in different parts of the country following the small ruminant community-based breeding program guideline developed by the the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA). Having huge livestock genetic diversity is an opportunity to the country, however, the conservation endeavors so far implemented are not fully effective and comprehensive due to many challenges. Some of the challenges for conservation and sustainable utilization of animal genetic resources include absence of nationwide characterization and identification, national breed population survey and census program to identify and quantify animal breeds/ecotypes, limited resource mobilization towards animal genetic resource conservation, lack of cryo-conservation facilities, absence of monitoring and evaluation system and weak collaboration among stakeholders
- Agricultural Research Knowledge