The discussion of livestock breeding continues apace on DAD-Net, touched off by a comment on a Science paper (picked up by the BBC among others) on African livestock genomics.1 It’s a very rich exchange, but unfortunately I can’t find a way of linking to contributions online: it seems to be entirely based on email, with no central, public archiving like with Yahoo or Google Groups. Anyway, I just want to pick out one thing. Philippe Leperre, a vet based in Laos, has this to say:
I am one of the very many specialist that advocate for selection/improvement of the local breed rather than mostly useless, haphazard, costly and non sustainable import of bulls and semen from “developed” countries. I think we are a majority in that respect, but what can we do when the local ministries and the donors prefer to buy from big foreign multinationals rather than from the (poor or at least poorer) local producers?
Now, I have two questions about this statement. To livestock breeders I’d like to ask whether they agree that there is a majority among them which advocates selection/improvement of local breeds. And to plant breeders I’d like to ask what percentage of their community would advocate such a strategy. Because it doesn’t seem to me to be anything like a majority.2 But maybe I’m wrong.
- DAD-Net is a very active information forum on animal genetic resources facilitated by FAO, to which we have alluded in the past. I wish we had something as vibrant in plant genetic resources conservation. Although of course on the plant breeding side we do now have the Plant Breeding Forum. [↩]
- Although as luck would have it there’s an example just out. [↩]