Conservation of Animal Genetics Resources in developing countries-Challenges and opportunities

A.K. Thiruvenkadan


Breed development is a dynamic process of genetic change driven by environmental conditions and selection by humans, the latter being shaped by the culture and the economic situation. The fact that ecosystems are dynamic and complex and that human preferences change, has resulted in the evolution of breeds and, until recently, a net increase in diversity over time. However, these genetic resources are being eroded as a result of changing agricultural practices and economic, environmental and other factors. Losses have been accelerated by rapid intensification of livestock production, a failure to evaluate local breeds, and inappropriate breed replacement or cross-breeding facilitated by the availability of highperforming breeds and reproductive biotechnologies. Of particular concern are the high rates of loss of indigenous breeds in developing countries, which, coupled with inadequate programmes for the use and management of the genetic resources, is negatively impacting on livelihood options for the poor. Wide agreement exists on the need to conserve the genetic diversity of animal genetic resources

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