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Publications - Ouvrages nouveaux - Publicaciones

Developing world - agriculture

A. Speedy, ed. 1990. London, Grosvenor Press International. 286 pp.

The preface to this book on agricultural productivity in the developing countries reflects the tone and aims of its multidisciplined authors. Perceptively, Sir Crispin Ticked expresses the need to apply technology to agriculture in traditional societies: "We live in a lopsided world of uneven resources, technology and glamour. Use of these resources, growth of that technology and the lure of scientific achievement have attracted attention away from traditional societies which account for the vast majority of the human population."

The eight sections of this book are unusual for their wide coverage of diverse topics related to agricultural development, ranging from tropical feeder roads to fish: World agriculture and development; Crop production and pest control; Soil and soil management; Storage and food technology; Mechanization and agricultural engineering; Livestock production; Animal diseases; and Information technology.

Valuable for planners and technical experts in developing countries, this informative, interesting and practical work is written by authors with a long experience in the developing world. The contents are interspersed with full-page advertisements which made it possible for the publishers to offer a number of complimentary copies. Contact: Grosvenor Press International, Holford Mews, Cruikshank Street, London WC1X 9HD. One minor criticism should perhaps be raised - the incongruousness for the developing world of the large and, doubtless, expensive harvesting machine of prairie proportions pictured on the cover.


Bulletins of the International Dairy Federation

Determination of free fatty acids in milk and milk products. Bulletin No. 265. Price: BF 1 500.

The determination of free fatty acids (FFA) to measure the degree of lipolysis in milk and milk products and its relation with the development of lipolytic off-flavours are the main subjects of this monograph.

The world dairy situation, 1991. Bulletin No. 266. Price: BF 1 500.

This bulletin comprises a summary of world dairy production in 1990, forecasts for 1991 1992, world tables and the individual dairy situation in 31 countries. Included is the report, Fat: solids-not-fat price ratio: international comparisons, also provided in French, and the International dairy situation and outlook, a comprehensive survey covering recent developments in production, consumption and prices with a reference to the general trend emerging as supply exceeds demand.

IDF recommendations for the hygienic manufacture of spray-dried milk powders. Bulletin No. 267. Price: BF 1 200.

These recommendations contain information on hygienic practices enabling the manufacture of milk powders that are both safe and wholesome. Thus, particular emphasis is placed on those practices which avoid the risks associated with pathogenic organisms.

These bulletins, as well as the free catalogue of publications, are available from:

International Dairy Federation (IDF), Square Vergote 41, B-1040 Brussels, Belgium. Tel. (32 2) 733 98 99; Telex 046 63818 IDFFIL; Fax (32 2) 733 04 13; or from national committees of the IDF.

Annual Report of the International Laboratory for Research on Animal Diseases

ILRAD. 1990. PO Box 30709, Nairobi, Kenya.

Research on livestock diseases, particularly theileriosis and trypanosomiasis, has been the mandate of the International Laboratory for Research on Animal Diseases (ILRAD) since 1973, when the institute was first established in Nairobi.

Theileriosis (East Coast fever), caused by the protozoan parasites Theileria parva and T. annulata, is a debilitating and often fatal disease of cattle. In Africa, T. parva is the more important of the two and also causes the diseases known as Corridor and January. Distribution of T. parva covers eleven countries on the African continent: Burundi, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, the Sudan, the United Republic of Tanzania, Uganda, Zaire, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The parasite is transmitted by the tick, Rhipicephalus appendiculatus, for which dipping or spraying with acaricide is the principal method of control. The disadvantages of acaracide treatment, however, such as cost, environmental pollution, tick resistance and shortages of water and expertise, have encouraged the search for other methods of East Coast fever control. One such alternative, that of immunization against T. parva, requires an effective vaccine against the disease and depends on determining the antigenic composition and prevalence of T. parva stocks obtained from endemic areas.

The tsetse fly, the vector of trypanosomiasis, is present over an expanse of about 10 million km² of Africa, extending from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean and covering 37 countries in all.

About 30 percent of the 147 million head of cattle risk being infected with trypanosomiasis for which the three principal control methods are treatment with drugs, fly control and the use of trypanotolerant livestock. Again, research into the possibility of vaccination against the disease is being carried out along with epidemiology, trypanosome biology and host resistance studies.

Other activities at ILRAD include general epidemiology and socio-economics, cooperative programmes, training and information.

The yearly report, always of interest, gives concise information on the background and developments of the two most important economic diseases of African livestock. It is compact and of value to veterinary and animal production staff and students.


Isotope-aided studies on goat and sheep production in the tropics FAO/IAEA. 1991.

Proceedings of the Final Research Coordination Meeting. Vienna, International Atomic Energy Agency. 210 pp.

This publication reports the findings of a five-year coordinated research programme, Improving Sheep and Goat Productivity with the Aid of Nuclear Techniques, conducted under the auspices of the Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture. The main objectives of the programme were to encourage research aimed at establishing the nutritional value, seasonal variability and availability of local feedstuffs as well as investigating their usefulness for small ruminants; and to examine reproductive patterns of small ruminants in different environments with reference to the seasonality of ovarian and testicular function, and the effect of nutrition and disease on reproductive efficiency.

The papers presented describe various nuclear techniques and results achieved through the application of these techniques in research. Presentations were made of reproductive characteristics of sheep and goat breeds from Africa, Asia and Europe, including data such as age at puberty, seasonality of reproductive cycles, litter size, kid and lamb survival and growth rates. Reproductive hormone levels were monitored during the oestrus cycle, periods of anoestrus, pregnancy and parturition. Furthermore, the (negative) influence of trypanosomiasis (Trypanasoma congolense) on reproductive efficiency was demonstrated in goats.

Nutritional strategies were introduced whereby the feed value of rice straw - found to be of low value in terms of energy, protein and phosphorus - was improved by treatment with urea. A report from Czechoslovakia stated that beech sawdust proved an acceptable feed for small ruminants following treatment with acid and subsequent defibration.

The performances of indigenous sheep and goat breeds in their natural environment were presented. Growth rates and carcass characteristics of the Sabi sheep breed (Zimbabwe) suggested that the breed was well adapted to local - environmental conditions.

New approaches to monitoring hormonal patterns in small ruminants by measuring steroids in hair and wool were discussed and their practical applications considered. Widespread use of isotope-aided technologies at farm level in developing countries should, however, be viewed with caution.

In summary, inadequate and fluctuating nutrient supplies were considered to be one of the factors preventing sheep and goats from achieving their production potential. In the course of this research programme, feedstuffs and their values were identified as potential resources of animal feed, and they may in the future contribute towards alleviating nutritional limitations. The monitoring of reproductive hormone levels has promoted the identification of animals with superior reproductive performances and led to the establishment of more efficient breeding practices.


Microlivestock - Little-known small animals with a promising economic future

Board on Science and Technology for International Development, National Research Council. 1990. Washington, D.C., National Academy Press.

The purpose of this report is to raise awareness of the potential of small livestock species and to stimulate their introduction into animal research and economic development programmes. It is geared particularly towards benefiting developing nations.

"Microlivestock" is a term coined for species that are inherently small, such as rabbits and poultry, as well as for breeds of cattle, sheep, goats and pigs that are less than half the size of the most common breeds. These miniature animals are seldom considered in the broad picture of livestock development, but they seem to have a promising future. Wherever land is scarce it seems reasonable to assume that, all things being equal, small animals would be more attractive than large ones - and land for livestock is becoming increasingly scarce.

This book discusses the promise of small breeds and species of livestock for villages of developing countries. It identifies more than 40 species, including miniature breeds of cattle, sheep, goats and pigs; eight types of poultry; rabbits, guinea pigs and other rodents; dwarf deer and antelope; iguanas; and bees.

Some edible microlivestock, such as insects, snails, worms and turtles, as well as fish and crustaceans, are not included in the book for lack of space. However, it is envisaged that they will be covered in a future work.

A warning is noted in the book that microlivestock outside their natural ecosystem could become dangerous pests. Because of the severity of the food crisis, the panel has selected some animals - mainly in the rodent section - that are highly adaptable and grow quickly. Their husbandry seems appropriate only in areas where they already exist (areas identified in the relevant chapters). Such potentially invasive animals should not be introduced in other environments. It is recommended that in adaptation trials, local species should always be given priority.

The book was prepared after an intensive survey of more than 300 animal scientists in 80 countries. Chapters were drafted on 40 out of the 150 species suggested and reviewed by more than 400 researchers worldwide.

The book can be obtained from Publications and Information Services (HA-476E), Office of International Affairs, National Research Council, 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C., 20418 USA.


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