Capacity building for sustainable use of animal genetic resources in developing countries.
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Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (AnGR) have great potential to contribute to increased food security and improved livelihood of poor people in developing countries. However, indigenous livestock which are well adapted to local conditions are often underutilized, and with few exceptions systematic breeding programmes are lacking. This is due to lack of a "critical mass" of people trained and informed in issues relating to AnGR, in addition to insufficient policy support and institutional frameworks. To address these shortages the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in collaboration with the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, and supported by Sida Sweden, launched a project "training the trainers", for university lecturers and NARS in developing countries. So far, more than 100 scientists from 25 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and 15 countries in South and South East Asia have been trained in refresher courses and workshops. An Animal Genetics Training Resource (Web & CD) has also been developed, containing case studies from the tropics, generic information on livestock genetic improvement, breeding programme design, research, science communication and teaching methods. In general, very positive outcomes of the training courses and resources developed have been reported by participants on their teaching, research and on supportive activities for better use of AnGR. Despite these effects there is a huge demand for expanded activities in this area.