Genetic improvement of local cattle breeds in Burkina Faso

Participation of LoCaBreed coordinators at regional workshop in Gaoua
LoCaBreed partners attended the regional workshop for the introduction of animal genetic resources management tools by the Ministry of Livestock and Fishery Resources in Gaoua, Burkina Faso.

Animal genetic resources for food and agriculture are an essential element of the biological basis of world food security. The evaluation of animal resources roles and values clearly shows that the potential of animal genetic resources is far from being fully exploited. An urgent global response is needed to improve the utilization and development of these resources and to cope with the rapid erosion that is occurring (FAO, 2008). The Global Plan of Action for Animal Genetic Resources proposes measures to reverse current erosion trends and underutilization of animal genetic resources. The Global Plan of Action includes four strategic priority areas to enhance the sustainable use, development and conservation of animal genetic resources around the world. Its implementation will make a significant contribution to the achievement of three Sustainable Development Goals: No Poverty, Zero Hunger and Responsible Consumption and Production. FAO encourages and supports countries on the implementation of conservation policies and the efficient use of animal genetic resources.

In this framework the government of Burkina Faso created a Permanent Secretariat for Animal Genetics Resources Conservation and Management, which is in charge of the implementation of the national policies in terms of regulation and management of animal genetic resources. In September 2018, the Permanent Secretariat organized regional workshops on the topic: “Introduction of animal genetic resource management tools” to discuss with all stakeholders (farmers, NGOs, extension workers, researchers, etc.) the national policies. LoCaBreed coordinators Prof. Johann Sölkner and Dr. Albert Soudré participated in the workshop in Gaoua. In Burkina Faso LoCaBreed is clearly among the most relevant current actions related to cattle breeding, conservation and evaluation of animal genetic resources. It targets systematic genetic improvement of local cattle rather than importation of breeds from Europe and the Americas, which are high producing in intensive production system. The comments and opinions of LoCaBreed representatives regarding the national strategies for improvement of animal genetic resources and the national action plan were very much appreciated.