Focus on status and prospects of conservation and sustainable use of indigenous livestock genetic resources in Zimbabwe

Authors

  • Never Assan Department of Agriculture, Faculty of Science and Technology, Zimbabwe Open University, Bulawayo Region, Box 3550, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

Keywords:

Conservation, Indigenous, Livestock, Genetic Resources, Zimbabwe

Abstract

This is a review paper that looks at the current status and prospects of conservation of indigenous livestock genetic resources in Zimbabwe. Indigenous livestock genetic resource conservation and sustainable use can contribute to reduced vulnerability, increased food security and accelerated economic growth in rural areas of Zimbabwe. There is a consensus that global animal genetic resources diversity is under pressure. The existence of threat to animal genetic resources is accepted, even though debate remains about the severity of genetic erosion. Local effort on improvement and conservation of indigenous cattle are described and challenges  highlighted.  The need to invest in indigenous livestock research and human resource development to support livestock conservation to accrue maximum benefit is acknowledged. Strategy on livestock conservation should  be instrumental  in ensuring the survival of indigenous livestock genetic resources, while making superior animals available to smallholder farming sector.  Unknowingly some of our indigenous livestock genetic resources may be classified as insecure or vulnerable but not however endangered as such. Natural disasters have resulted in loss of valuable indigenous genetic resources, breeding tracts and mixing of genetic characteristics of various genetic grouping. Indigenous livestock genetic conservation should encompass changes in value and attitude of smallholder livestock producers from the present consideration for number of stock as status symbol to more important objectives of higher productivity and socioeconomic benefits that are business oriented. The review paper therefore, concludes that in the planning and implementation of indigenous livestock conservation interventions to increase livestock production, smallholder livestock farming sector approach is proposed, placing the household as focal point of livestock conservation. Small scale farmers approach should become  increasingly important and can have a tremendous influence on achieving the primary objective which should be  the conservation of indigenous livestock genetic resources  one of the most vital resources in rural economy.

References

Agrisystems, 2000. National Livestock Development Study for Zimbabwe. Draft Main Report, Phase 1. Harare,

Zimbabwe. Agrisystems Ltd and Price Waterhouse.

Beffa, M.L., Ncube, B., 1994. Matopos Research Station, Zimbabwe.

Blench, R., 2005. Conservation of indigenous livestock: Sustaining biodiversity for current and future generations.

CGIAR System Research Priority Area 1. Marrakech, 6 December, 2005.

Brownlee, J.W.I., 1977. The Nguni cattle of Rhodesia. Rhodesia Agric. Sci., 58, 878-886.

CBD, 1992. Convention on Biological Diversity. United Nations, 1992.

FAO, 2006. The state of food insecurity in the world: Eradicating world hunger - taking stock ten years after the

World Food Summit, FAO, Rome, 40 pp.

Hiemstra, S.J., Drucker, A.G., Tvedt, M.W., Louwaars, N., Oldenbroek, J.K., Awgichew, K., Abegaz Kabede, S., Bhat,

P.N., da Silva Mariante, A., 2006. Exchange, use and conservation of animal genetic resources.: Policy and

regulatory options. CGN report 2006/06, Center for genetic resources, Wageningen, The Netherlandss.

Holmann, F., Rivas, L., Urbina, N., Rivera, B., Giraldo, L.A., Guzman, S., Martinez, M., Medina, A., Ramirez, G.,

The role of livestock in poverty alleviation: An analysis of Colombia. Livestock Research for Rural

Development 17(1).

Homann, S., Van Rooyen, A.F., Moyo, T., Nengomahsa, Z., 2007. Goat production and marketing: Baseline

information for semi-arid Zimbabwe. P.O. Box 776. Bulawayo, Zimbabwe: International Crops Research

Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics., 84pp.

Khombe, C.T., 1994. The conservation and selection of indigenous beef breeds in Zimbabwe. Ministry of National

Affairs, Employment Creation and Cooperatives, P Bag 7762, Causeway, Zimbabwe.

Perry, B.D., Randolf, T.F., Ashley, S., Chimedza, R., Foreman, T., Morrisson, J., Poulton, C., Sibanda, L., Steven, C.,

Tebele, N., Yngstrom, I., 2003. The impact and poverty reduction implications of foot and mouth disease

control in Southern Africa with special reference to Zimbabwe. Nairobi Kenya. International Livestock

Research Institute. 137 pp.

Rege, J.E.O., Gibson J.P., 2003. Animal genetic resources and economic development: Issues in relation to

economic evaluation. Ecol. Econ., 45,319–330.

Rege, J.E.O., 1999. The state of African cattle genetic resources I. Sanga, Zenga, recent derivatives, threatened and

extinct breeds. Animal Genetic Resources Information (FAO) 25: 1-25.

Scholtz, M.M., 2012. The development of a seed stock industry using indigenous livestock from rural keepers for

sustainable production. J. Life Sci., 6, 1270-1276.

Smith, C., 1984. Rates of genetic change in farm livestock. Res. Dev. Agric., 1, 79- 85.

Smith, C., 1988. Genetic improvement of livestock, using nucleus breeding units. World Anim, Rev., 65, 2-10.

Ward, H.K., Davison, J., Prentice, A., Tiffin, J. de W., Brownlee, J.W.I., Harvey, H.R., Arrowsmith, Sally, P., Bennet, S.,

Sairai, J.N., Dube,. I.A., Moyo, G., 1978. Improvement of beef cattle productivity through crossbreeding.

Annual Report. 1976/77. Division of Livestock and Pastures, Dept. of Research and Specialist Services, Harare.

Pp1423.

Wollny, C.B.A., 1995. Conserving the biodiversity of southern Africa livestock resources. Keynote address

presented at the Annual Symposium of Developing Areas of the South African Society of Animal

Science(SAGAS) at Loskopdam, Groblersdal, 16 to 19 October.

Published

2013-04-30

How to Cite

Assan, N. . (2013). Focus on status and prospects of conservation and sustainable use of indigenous livestock genetic resources in Zimbabwe. Scientific Journal of Animal Science, 2(4), 74-81. Retrieved from https://www.sjournals.com/index.php/sjas/article/view/1085

Issue

Section

Review Article