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Monday, 05 November 2012

Women are main guardians of crucial livestock diversity

Women livestock keepers worldwide must be recognised as the major actors in efforts to arrest the decline of indigenous breeds, crucial for rural food security and animal genetics, a new FAO study argues. Yet women's contribution to indigenous livestock breeding and conservation is poorly documented and undervalued, the study ‘Invisible Guardians: Women manage livestock diversity’ says.
Of the 600 million poor livestock keepers in the world, around two-thirds are women, whose men often have migrated to the cities. Women stay at home with the children and live by cultivating crops and keeping indigenous smallstock such as chickens or goats, and perhaps a cow. The advantages of indigenous breeds have been long known. But the FAO study asserts that the role of women in safeguarding and defending indigenous breeds and improving their genetics through careful breeding has not been appreciated.

Source: FAO