Animal genetic resources for improved productivity under harsh environmental conditions, Prof. Jan Philipsson, MSc. Emelie Zonabend, Prof. Erling Strandberg
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Animal genetic resources for improved productivity under harsh environmental conditions, Prof. Jan Philipsson, MSc. Emelie Zonabend, Prof. Erling Strandberg

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Indigenous livestock breeds are well adapted to tropical and harsh environments, but usually rather unproductive. Therefore, crossbreeding with exotic breeds has been practiced, and often found to be ...

Indigenous livestock breeds are well adapted to tropical and harsh environments, but usually rather unproductive. Therefore, crossbreeding with exotic breeds has been practiced, and often found to be successful in the first generation, but with disastrous results later on. Therefore, there is a great need for developing breeding strategies for specific populations of indigenous livestock, both in order to conserve genes necessary for survival under harsh environments, and for genetic improvement of productivity. The objective of this project is to explore the opportunities for genetic improvement of primarily two livestock populations considered of specific importance for food security in Eastern Africa, due to their resilience as regards adverse climatic stress or ability to withstand specific disease challenges in the tropics. In the first case, focus will be on the Red Maasai sheep and its crosses in Kenya and Tanzania. This breed has shown a high degree of resistance to gastrointestinal parasites and ability to withstand drought. However, there is no breeding strategy in place and this project will adopt a value chain approach with the farmers and retailers to establish appropriate breeding objectives and selection practices. We will furthermore study production systems, animal usage, survival, production, et cetera, using various interview methods and also further develop an already created production recording system. In the second study we have focused on comparing four Ethiopian cattle breeds with respect to trypanotolerance and productivity and found that one breed, the Sheko, is clearly superior. We will carry out a workshop with researchers, extension officers and farmers on how to amplify the genes for trypanotolerance into the cattle populations kept in tsetse infested areas.

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Animal genetic resources for improved productivity under harsh environmental conditions, Prof. Jan Philipsson, MSc. Emelie Zonabend, Prof. Erling Strandberg Animal genetic resources for improved productivity under harsh environmental conditions, Prof. Jan Philipsson, MSc. Emelie Zonabend, Prof. Erling Strandberg Presentation Transcript

  • Animal Genetic Resources for improved productivity under harsh environmental conditions - a UD40 supported project in Eastern Africa J. Philipsson, E. Zonabend, J. Stein, T. Mirkena, B. Malmfors, A. Näsholm and E. Strandberg Dept. of Animal Breeding and Genetics, SLU J. Ojango, W. Ayalew, W. Mulato, J. Audho, T. Dessie, E. Rege, O. Mwai International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Kenya/Ethiopia
  • Animal Genetic Resources for sustainable use in developing countries  70% of livestock breeds found in developing countries - indigenous breeds in SSA often adapted to harsh conditions  Huge ruminant populations but many animals unproductive  Lack of long term breeding strategies and neglect of the genetic potential of some indigenous breeds  Market forces introduced exotic breeds for short term gains - Indiscriminate ”upgrading” of indigenous breeds  Many valuable indigenous breeds become endangered
  • The Challenge in use of Animal Genetic Resources in Developing Countries Must utilize the potential of the AnGR and increase the productivity per animal! Develop relevant Animal Breeding Programs Organization Human Resources Genetics Production system Feeds and veterinary services Meet increasing demands for food of animal origin on an increasingly competitive market  without environmental degradation of land and water  considering the needs for future genetic diversity T The present study involves two endangered indigenous breeds with specifically valuable attributes
  • Institutional framework Kenya Tanzania Uganda Livestock breeding policy Draft available Draft in progress Available Livestock recording and genetic evaluation Recording and genetic evaluation of some dairy and beef breeds Limited recording at research farms Limited recording at research farms Study of Infrastructure to support the use of AnGR in Eastern Africa Shortage of human capacity trained in animal breeding in all countries Lack of integration of livestock development activities and of farmers involvement in livestock recording in all countries Very few breeding programs in place in SSA
  • Trypanosomosis (sleeping sickness) – one of the most disastrous animal diseases in the tropics with the tsetse fly as vector Sub-Saharan Africa  60 million heads of cattle exposed to risk  3 million heads lost annually Ethiopia  Trypanosomosis covers 15 % of all arable land and hinders human inhabitation  10 - 14 million heads of cattle exposed to risk Trypanotolerance of indigenous cattle breeds in tsetse infested areas of Ethiopia
  • Some breeds show “trypanotolerance” Capacity of an animal to control the development of the parasites and to limit their pathological effects HorroAbigar ShekoGurage Four indigenous breeds in SW Ethiopia investigated PhD project in collaboration between EIAR, ILRI and SLU  Farmer interviews – perceptions about diseases  Field investigations by blood analyses for PCV and parasitaemia in the habitat of each breed  On station comparison of breeds for production, diseases and survival with the same tsetse challenge
  • Trypanosomosis - Infection rate Sheko - superior trypanotolerance in all three studies but is an endangered breed – needs to be conserved! 0 20 40 60 80 100 Abigar Gurage Horro Sheko Infectionrate(%) Percieved by livestock keepers Detected in home areas Detected on station
  • Breeding for Trypanotolerance in Ethiopia  Results presented in a PhD thesis and shared at a workshop with all Ethiopian stakeholders  How to conserve the Sheko breed and disseminate its genes for trypanotolerance to the broader livestock populations in tsetse- infested areas of Ethiopia is presently studied – simulation of alternative strategies  MoA taken results onboard for translation of results into practice including a proposal to IFAD for action research
  •  Indigenous breed kept in Kenya and neighbouring countries  Recurrent severe droughts show higher survival of Red Maasai  Indiscriminately crossed with Dorper for better meat production Dorper not well adapted The case of Red Maasai sheep
  • INDISCRIMINATE CROSSBREEDING Red Maasai x Dorper crosses
  •  Indigenous breed kept in Kenya and neighbouring countries  Recurrent severe droughts show higher survival of Red Maasai  Indiscriminately crossed with Dorper for better meat production Dorper not well adapted  Red Maasai population drastically declining – endangered breed  AIM: How to conserve Red Maasai sheep and increase productivity for improved food security? The case of Red Maasai sheep
  • Pilot sheep recording scheme in two Maasai village areas  Data on live weights, fertility and health for farmer information and genetic analyses - similar data from two research ranches (Kapiti and Naivasha)  Baseline study on production system and markets as well as social, cultural and gender aspects of sheep production  Interviews for assessment of breeding objectives  Design of alternative breeding strategies  Outreach workshops for sharing results and for capacity building Materials and methods
  • Recording growth, health and fertility on Red Maasai, Dorper sheep and their crosses Linear Measurements Weighing Interviews Defining ageReproductionEar tagging Weighing
  • Farmers Middlemen Butchers Breeding objectives set by interviewing farmers and middlemen and butchers Middlemen Butchers Farmers
  • 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% Growth and Body size Condition Milk production Mothering ability and Reproduction Drought and Disease resistance Dorper Red Maasai Cross What farmers like in their ewes Relative percentage of responses
  • Red Maasai Sheep  Constitutes the main female flock  Purebreeding for improvement of maternal and survival traits  Partly for controlled crossbreeding to produce slaughter lambs Dorper Sheep  Terminal ram breed for controlled crossbreeding with Red Maasai to produce slaughter lambs  Selection for growth, health and survival Potential breeding strategy
  • Conclusions of Red Maasai project  Hardiness of Red Maasai sheep and growth rate/body size of Dorper sheep preferred by livestock keepers  Milk production surprisingly important due to heavy losses of cattle during serious droughts 2008-2009 in the region  Great need for increased production for food security and export of lamb carcasses  Women greatly involved and dependent on sheep production  Great interest among livestock keepers in organized selection based on sheep recording
  • Outcomes and Implications  Closer links between livestock keepers, local stakeholders, ILRI and SLU in research for development efforts leading to: - Increased interest for improvement of indigenous livestock genetic resources for improved food security and a pathway out of poverty - Change in animal selection practices within communities - Enhanced awareness and access to market information and alternative markets by livestock keepers  Sharing of collective partner experiences and building on these to ensure better joint outcomes An example of long-standing fruitful cooperation between SLU and ILRI enhanced by the UD40 project Resources of UD, Sida, EIAR, SLU, and ILRI for conducting these studies are highly appreciated