Animal genetic resource (AnGR) diversity contributes in many ways to human survival and well-being.
However, 32% of livestock breeds are threatened. Such an irreversible loss of genetic diversity reduces
opportunities to improve food security, reduce poverty and shift towards sustainable agricultural
The large number of AnGR at risk in developing countries, together with the limited financial resources
available for conservation, means that economic analysis can play an important role in ensuring an
appropriate focus for conservation efforts. In this regard, important tasks include, inter alia: 1)
determining the economic contribution that AnGR make to various societies; 2) supporting the
assessment of priorities through the identification of cost-effective measures that might be taken to
conserve domestic animal diversity; and 3) assist in the design of economic incentives and institutional
arrangements for the promotion of AnGR conservation by individual livestock keepers or communities.
Nevertheless, despite the importance of the economics of AnGR conservation and sustainable use, the
subject has only recently begun to receive attention, despite the existence of a conceptual framework for
the valuation of biodiversity in general.
Having described the theoretical background and the difficulties involved in carrying out this type of
economic analysis, this paper summarises the results of a range of economics of AnGR studies recently
carried out in Africa, Latin America and Europe.
These studies reveal that not only are there a range of methodologies that can be used to value livestock
keeper breed/trait preferences, but that they can in fact be of use in designing policies that counter the
present trend towards marginalisation of indigenous breeds. In particular, it becomes possible to, inter
alia: recognise the importance livestock keepers place on adaptive traits and non-income functions, and
the need to consider these in breeding programme design; identify those breeds that are a priority for
participation in cost-efficient diversity-maximising conservation programmes; and contrast the costs
involved with the large benefits non-livestock keepers place on breed conservation.
The paper concludes by highlighting the lessons learned from these studies and how these lessons can
contribute to the challenge of now applying further work of this type in contexts where the results can
actively benefit livestock-keepers, and support national researchers and policy-makers.
Auteurs et éditeurs
Ethiopian Society of Animal Production (ESAP) is an Ethiopian Resident Society of professionals of animal production and related fields. ESAP is a multifaceted platform and knowledge hub of animal scientists, policy makers, researchers and academia, farmers, pastoralists, and private sector working in the sphere of animal agriculture for overarching goal-sustainable and resilient animal agriculture in Ethiopia.
Fournisseur de données
CGIAR is the only worldwide partnership addressing agricultural research for development, whose work contributes to the global effort to tackle poverty, hunger and major nutrition imbalances, and environmental degradation.