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First call for project proposals

 

As envisaged in the Global Plan of Action for Animal Genetic Resources, an FAO Trust Account has been established for the receipt of voluntary contributions in support of the implementation of the Global Plan of Action. By 2011, 1 million US$ had been contributed to the Trust Account and the First Call for Proposals under the Funding Strategy for the Implementation of the Global Plan of Action was launched.

 

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In response to the first Call for Proposals of the Funding Strategy 52 eligible concept notes - 43 country and 9 regional concept notes – were received. The Members of the Bureau of the Intergovernmental Technical Working Group on Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture evaluated and scored the concept notes. Following their recommendation, the Bureau of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture subsequently approved the 26 highest ranking concept notes. Proponents were invited to prepare full project proposals.

 

FAO received 24 full-fledged project proposals, each of which was thoroughly reviewed by three international technical experts designated by the Bureau of the Working Group. The Bureau of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, assisted by the Bureau of the Working Group, then selected thirteen project proposals to receive funding. These projects involve 30 countries.

 

Please click on the highlighted countries to discover the projects.

 

[click on the title to enlarge/close a description of the project]

Regional projects

Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia and The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

BushaLive
The autochthonous Busha cattle of the Balkans survive in small, highly endangered, populations. The breed is hardy and well-suited to extensive farming, but has relatively low production yields. It is an important part of the local identity, but will be lost if conservation measures are not put in place. Stakeholders across the various nationalities, religions and other interests present in the Balkans share a common willingness to collaborate in conserving the breed. This project will involve the development of a regional strategy for the management of the breed that spans all levels from farmers to governments. Surviving populations will be characterized and their numbers monitored. An effort will be made to identify relict populations that consist mainly of pure-bred animals. The project will also explore the potential for more effective marketing of the breeds products. It will establish basic recording systems and support the development of breeding organizations and common breeding goals. The objective is to develop a model for in situ conservation of transboundary breed populations such as the Busha.
Algeria and Morocco Conservation of Beni Guil sheep by semen exchanges between countries
The project focuses on safeguarding the Beni Guil or Hamra breed in Algeria because it is endangered by its absorption by the Ouled Djellal breed. It aims to improve the selection scheme and share experiences through training and awareness raising among farmers. The project's objective is to gain knowledge and develop the genetic potential of the breed and its production qualities, which are currently underexploited, as well as the conservation and quantitatively and qualitative improvement of its genetic potential.
Argentina, Brasil and Costa Rica Enhancement of farmers communities through goats utilization and genetic improvement
With the general purpose to contribute to the development of rural communities, food security and systems sustainability through the preservation of small ruminant biodiversity, the evaluation and genetic improvement of AnGR, and the promotion of their utilization in production systems, this proposal has as specific objectives:
1) To characterize on phenotypic, genetic and molecular basis, goat breeds related to a stratum of human population that uses animal genetic resource as a living means in a subsistence economy;
2) To establish participatory goat breeding schemes based on the information generated;
3) To cryogenically conserve semen of endangered breeds and
4) To create a common goat DNA Bank with samples from three countries. Phenotypic, genetic and molecular data will be gathered in order to establish participatory breeding schemes for conservation, sustainable use and improvement of goat populations in Argentina, Brazil and Costa Rica. It is foreseen to create a DNA bank that preserves biological samples from the three countries. Five Criollo goats populations from Argentina, two local and two exotic goat breeds from Brazil, and 2 exotic but locally adapted goat populations and their crosses of Costa Rica will be the genetic material under study. The proposal includes activities such as training of technicians and farmers and to establish strategies to add value to the animal genetic resources. It is foreseen that the intervention strategy will derive in a better living standard of the rural population uses these animal genetic resources as a life mean in subsistence economies.
Bolivia and Peru Capacity development supporting the implementation of breeding strategies for llamas
Bolivia (Plurinational State of) and Peru are home to about 3 million llamas, which support the livelihoods of nearly 155 000 resource-poor rural families. Conservation and utilization of this species have been neglected and this has led to genetic erosion, inbreeding and a lack of breeding strategies. The aim of this project is to strengthen and develop capacity to manage llamas sustainably. The project will train students and professionals in community-based breeding strategies, supported by molecular genetic techniques and participatory research. It will train farmers in pragmatic approaches to animal breeding. At two study sites in each country, community-based participatory breeding programmes relevant to local needs and conditions will be established, with the aim of improving meat production. A regional workshop will be organized to exchange lessons learned and to outline policies for the conservation and sustainable use of llamas.
Cook Islands, Fiji and Niue Conservation of indigenous pig and chicken breeds
This project will promote the conservation and utilization of animal genetic resources through the establishments of three collection, breeding and conservation centres two for indigenous chickens (Cook Islands and Niue) and one for indigenous pigs (Fiji). One of the main aims is to conserve indigenous pig and chicken breeds that were identified in an earlier project implemented in several countries in the Southwest Pacific. The centres will take responsibility for collecting , breeding, multiplying and distributing breeding stock to replenish genetic resource diversity and support food security and livelihoods. In the future, the centres could also serve as platforms for the establishment of a regional livestock genetic germplasm conservation centre for the Pacific Island region, as well as for research and development on animal genetic resources and other agricultural resources such as local resilient feed plants and fodder species.
Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda Promotion of indigenous chicken for improved livelihood and income generation
In Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda, indigenous chickens are an important source of income, food security and livelihoods for rural households. Their production systems are characterized by harsh environments, low levels of inputs and high disease incidence, which lead to low levels of production. Although the potential of indigenous chickens as a means of improving livelihoods and food security has been recognized, exotic chicken germplasm developed from a few genetic lines is increasingly being used in an endeavour to improve productivity. This has placed indigenous chicken genetic resources at risk of erosion. This project aims to mitigate the adverse effects of the loss of indigenous chicken biodiversity. It will facilitate the generation of preliminary data on the levels of genetic variation in indigenous chicken populations through phenotypic characterization. It will also develop and implement sustainable genetic improvement and community-based models for the improvement of indigenous chickens and support the establishment of a network for the supervision of genetic improvement and conservation projects.
Gambia, Guinea, Mali and Senegal Assessment of the impact of transhumance on the sustainable management of animal genetic resources
In West Africa, livestock production systems are predominantly extensive. Livestock depend largely on natural pastures for feed. Transhumance is widely practised to compensate for seasonal and spatial variability in natural resources. Interactions between indigenous and transhumant livestock populations may contribute to the erosion of endemic animal genetic resources. This project , which will focus particularly on trypanotolerant breeds, will assess the transhumant system and its effects on endemic animal genetic resources and their environments, analyse the perceptions and motivations of indigenous people in areas where transhumance is practised and propose mitigation measures. Findings will be shared with stakeholders via feedback workshops at which they will be validated and appropriate mitigation measures identified. These workshops will also promote the emergence of frameworks for consultation on transhumance.

National projects

Chile In situ conservation strategy for goats and cattle
This project aims to create a conservation strategy based on the organization of local public-private forums as support to the conservation effort, in which producers, curators and scientific and institutional teams define the framework for valuation of the resource as a working basis. Based on this framework, the study of the resource will be conducted in order to characterize it, and subsequently to develop a strategy for in situ conservation. The characterization of the resource will be carried out basing on ethnological and molecular tools. The project will develop a strategy of conservation in situ for goats (in the central-northern area) and for cattle (in the southern area) of Chile. Both animal genetic resources are located in different agro-ecological zones, and will serve as a model to guide the conservation policy of animal genetic resources of agricultural and food use Chile.
India Documenting and supporting community-based conservation of four local breeds
This project is a collaboration of four NGOs belonging to the LIFE Network and focusing on four different livestock breeds in four different states of India whose populations have declined significantly. The planned interventions will proceed in a phased manner and be adapted according to the specific situations of each breed:
1) Participatory documentation according to the "LIFE method";
2) Development of Biocultural protocols;
3) Identification of the constraints leading to the decline of the breed in a participatory manner;
4) Addressing the constraints in a breed and location specific manner - for instance through training in the Forest Rights Act and/or scientific analysis of products to identify possible options for value addition.
5) Much emphasis will be placed on capacity-building of the livestock keepers;
6) The results and experiences of the project will be widely shared at national level meetings with government officials and through a LIFE meeting with other NGOs.
7) The idea is to eventually mainstream such community-based conservation projects and influence the government to invest in such approaches rather than government breeding farms.
Mozambique Conservation of native cattle breeds, for their present and future use
The native cattle breeds of Mozambique have always been important both for rural livelihoods and for the national economy. However, war and a lack of infrastructure, funds and expertise have led to uncontrolled breeding and indiscriminate cross-breeding in these breeds and their productivity is declining. This project aims to describe the genotype of native cattle breeds, restore their purity, increase their numbers and establish a sustainable breeding and conservation programme. The focus will be on native breeds (Landim, Angoni and Bovino de Tete) from the south, centre and north of the country. The project will address three research topics: phenotypic and genotypic characterization; estimation of inbreeding coefficients; and restoration of breed purity in Landim cattle.
Nigeria Conserving Muturu cattle in the South Rain Forest Zone
Nigeria’s 16 million cattle population consist of 9 indigenous breeds; namely Sokoto Gudali, Red Bororo, Bunaji, Adamawa Gudali, Shuwa, Wadara, Kuri, Keteku and Muturu; all of which are naturally distributed into various geographical zones where they are best adapted. Amongst the breeds, only the Muturu is indigenous (best adapted) to the South rainforest zone, where all other breeds can hardly survive. The wet and humid rain forest vegetation allow the tsetsefly, which transmits trypanosomiasis disease, to thrive and this makes cattle farming a difficult, risky and almost unprofitable investment in the area. The Muturu breed is genetically tolerant to trpanosomiasis and endures the humid weather, hence its ability to survive the zone and maintain its remarkable meat yield ability as beef cattle and traction power, as a draught animal. Despite the above qualities, local cattle farmers in the zone often reject keeping the animal because of its small body size. To them, the animal is usually not appreciated as gift at special occasions, when compared to larger framed breeds, which sometime dress out lower in percent carcass meat yield. At present, the rate of regeneration of the breed is low and the population is fast declining. Necessary action, as being proposed by this project, therefore, need to be taken in order to prevent the breed from going into total extinction in Nigeria. Available records show that there is nowhere in the country today, where up to 100 of this indigenous cattle breed can be found in one location. There is therefore the need to establish a project that will conserve, multiply and possibly halt the declining population of the Muturu breed of cattle in the South rainforest zone of Nigeria and by extension, prevent the breed from going into extinction.
Togo Phenotypic and molecular characterization of local chicken
In Togo, family poultry farming contributes to food security and improving standards of living, and thus to fighting poverty. Togo’s genetic resources of domestic poultry are highly diversified and well adapted to environmental conditions. The sustainable conservation of these genetic resources requires that they be characterized and inventoried. This project involves the phenotypic and genotypic characterization of local chicken. A study will be conducted on the genetic structure of different sub-populations and the general population.
Uruguay Conservation and characterization of Criollo sheep
The conservation and characterization of animal genetic resources is one of the strategic actions to address the new challenges of a growing global demand for food and the uncertain scenarios given by climate change and new health problems. The aim of the project is the characterization and conservation of criollo sheep at risk of extinction, which are located in the National Park of San Miguel (Uruguay). Its implementation will allow:
1) generate a sustainable data capturing system to build a database to be used in the characterization of criollo sheep, a productive genetic resource.
2) define an in-situ conservation plan based on the current genealogical structure, using genomic information and maintaining animal identification register,
3) conserve ex situ genetic variation through DNA samples,
4) train researchers and technicians in conservation of genetic resources, and disseminate the value and use of genetic resources at global level;
5) generate databases of phenotypic and genomic data for genomic association studies and for applying genomics to the conservation of genetic resources.
The new knowledge can be integrated into genetic improvement of sheep and can contribute to other conservation programs.