Participatory approaches to investigate breeding objectives of livestock keepers
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There are distinct breeds suitable for diverse purposes in the different production environments or ecological zones. Farmers in different production systems have different trait preferences and the strategies followed by them are also as diverse as the agro-environments within which they operate. In order to design a viable breeding plan, farmers’ preferences for the different traits need to be investigated. In this paper available tools and methods for defining livestock breeding objective traits are described, discussed and comparisons among them are made. The reviewed tools were: participatory rural appraisal (PRA), choice experiments, ranking of animals from own flock/herd and ranking of others animals. Each methodology may be appropriate to specific situation; however, it is recommended that a combination of approaches be used to precisely capture the breeding objective traits of livestock producers. Elucidation of objective traits using the tools with active involvement of producers can result in appropriate livestock genetic improvement that is well grounded in practical reality and truly reflects owners’ preferences.