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The preparation of a Report on the State of the World's Animal Genetic Resources (AnGR) was recommended by the Intergovernmental Technical Working Group on AnGR for Food and Agriculture (ITWG-AnGR) in 1998. This recommendation was subsequently endorsed by the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, the FAO Committee on Agriculture, and the FAO Council and Conference. Creation of the Report is to be achieved through a country-driven process involving the preparation of individual Country Reports, followed by synthesis of information from those reports to produce the first Report on the State of the World's AnGR (SoW-AnGR).

The Country Reports should reflect the particular problems, needs, and opportunities of each country. Ideally, they will serve as a tool for the clarification and development of national and international policies toward AnGR, as well as providing a mechanism for the country to contribute information to the SoW-AnGR Report. Thus, it is important that the Country Report focuses on the specific concerns and opportunities of each country. However, in order to facilitate creation of the SoW-AnGR Report, it is also important that there be a measure of uniformity in the structure of the Country Reports. To that end, FAO has produced and distributed Guidelines for Development of Country Reports.

The Country Reports are to focus on the analysis of information regarding AnGR and on the national capacity to manage these resources; on the synthesis of national priorities for sustainable utilization and conservation of AnGR; and on the identification of recommendations for international co-operation. Country Reports should focus on the analysis of existing data, rather than on the collection and enumeration of large amounts of new information. However, it is recognized that the resulting Country Reports will be built upon substantial amounts of detailed information and intermediate analyses. The capture of that information and of the results of intermediate analyses should be of both immediate and longer-term value to countries. To facilitate the collection and analysis of the necessary background information, these Background Questions provide queries that should be considered in collating the supporting data for use in preparation of the Country Report.


The Background Questions provided in this document are designed to aid accumulation of information necessary for the preparation of the Country Report. It is not necessary or appropriate for each stakeholder in the country network to answer all of the questions. Likewise, the final Country Report should not just be a list of answers to these questions. However, each country is encouraged to consider the entire list of questions, and obtain answers, where possible, from the spectrum of AnGR stakeholders.


  1. If the issues addressed by some of the questions are not pertinent to conditions in the country, they can simply be marked as "not applicable".
  2. If information to answer some of the questions is not currently available, that situation can be noted. The identification of important areas where information is not available is one of the uses of these questions and may serve to highlight key areas of need to be addressed in the Country Report.

It is essential that the questions provided in this document be viewed as prompts to support your analysis. The Country Report must provide a strategic analysis of your country's current situation in regard to the management of AnGR; opportunities to better use, develop, and conserve AnGR; and needs and priorities to build the necessary capacity to realize the opportunities.

The answers to the Background Questions will provide an intermediate level of information and analysis of the status of AnGR in each country. The answers to these questions go beyond the straightforward data listings present in DAD-IS (URL: and other FAO databases. Pertinent information from these data sources will be provided to the persons(s) preparing the Country Report. Repeating this data is not required. If additional or revised data of this sort is available, they should be provided directly to DAD-IS using existing reporting tools. (see also para 43 of Guidelines).

The amount of data and information generated in the pursuit of answers to the questions will be greater than can be included in the Country Report. Development of concise answers, based on the information to hand, will help to provide the perspective necessary for the Country Report.


  1. Answers to each group of questions can usually take the form of 1 or 2 short paragraphs, or can be arranged in tabular format.
  2. Some questions must be addressed for each species and production system, whereas others are more general.

The responses to these questions will provide a national baseline that can be updated as necessary for future reporting. To that end, functionality will be developed to allow responses to these questions to be electronically entered directly into the DAD-IS SoW-AnGR Module by country network participants.


In most cases, answers to Background Questions should be provided by the network of stakeholders (individuals, a small group of experts or farmer associations) established by the National Consultative Committee (see also Section IV-D of Guidelines). It is essential that the National Consultative Committee takes overall responsibility for co-ordinating the collation of this supporting data for the Country Report. It is also critical that the National Consultative Committee undertake the necessary further analyses and synthesis of the answers to these questions to complete the Country Report, and forward the Report for official country approval and submission to FAO. In addition, the Background Questions will be addressed during the planned regional training sessions and during the within-country training process to support stakeholder involvement and consensus building. The answers developed for the questions during these sessions can then be entered into the DAD-IS SoW-AnGR Module ready for use by the person(s) charged with drafting the Country Report.


Background Questions are provided in each of the following sections:

  1. Introducing the Country
  2. The State of Production Systems
  3. The State of Genetic Diversity
  4. The State of Utilization of AnGR
  5. The State of Conservation of AnGR
  6. The State of Policy Development and Institutional Arrangements for AnGR


  1. For sections 2, 3, 4 and 5: Relevant information, available in FAO databases, will be provided through the DAD-IS SoW-AnGR Module to assist in completing these sections.
  2. For sections 2 and 3, this information should be examined and updated, as appropriate.
  3. For section 6, it will be important to include the views of appropriate Ministries in developing this section.


1.1 Introduction to your Country and its Agricultural Sector

This section should present an overview to allow a person who is unfamiliar with the country to understand the conditions. This overview will help the reader appreciate the context for the remainder of the report.

Countries, which previously contributed to the first Report on the State of the World's Plant Genetic Resources, may use the Introduction Section to the Country Report for Plant Genetic Resources to assist in preparing the information for this section (see also para 42 of Guidelines).

Questions that might be addressed include:

A map of the country, showing the locations and regions mentioned in the report, should be provided.

In two or three paragraphs, give a brief profile of the agricultural sector:

In 2 or 3 paragraphs:

1.2 The State of Food Security and Rural Development

This section should allow the reader to appreciate the most important factors affecting food security and rural development in your country.

It has been suggested that the Introduction to the Country Report should be kept to 3-5 pages (see also para 67 of Guidelines)


Food Security:

Population trends:

Role of livestock:


This section should include basic information on the animal production systems, most important animal products and trends that have occurred in the use and management of AnGR in each of the production systems in the country.


2.1 What are the Primary Animal Production Systems in your Country?

This section should provide an appreciation of how animals are produced and used in your country. Keep the number of systems that you include to the minimum required to provide a good understanding of animal production in your country. However, all production systems that make significant contributions to food and agriculture, rural communities, or environmental services should be included. The different production systems should be carefully defined in order to provide the reader with a clear picture of the differences among the systems.

For each production system:

For each production system and species:

Organizational characteristics of each production system:

Reliance on inputs:

Impact of risk factors:

2.2 What are the most important Animal Products in your Country? What Secondary Products are important to Farmers or Regions in the Country?

2.3 What Major Trends or Significant Changes have occurred in the use and Management of Animals in your Country?


This section should include information on the diversity among and within animal species. The main topics to be addressed are:

  1. the state of knowledge of genetic diversity, and,
  2. the state of genetic diversity.

In developing this section, it may be useful to identify groups of breeds with similar characteristics, breeding structures, management requirements, and uses. One suggested grouping would be:


3.1 What is the State of Knowledge of your Country's AnGR?

This section should provide an overview of the types of information that are available on your country's AnGR. This section should allow the reader to understand what sort of information is available, what information is lacking, and what can be done to improve the available information.

For each species and primary production system:

For each species:

3.2 Assessment of Genetic Diversity

This section should provide an overview of the AnGR that are important in the country. This will allow the National Consultative Committee to understand what species and groups of breeds are being used in the food and agriculture sector in the country, and to be able to describe the changes that are taking place in the use of AnGR.


Utilization of AnGR encompasses both their use and the further genetic development of these resources. Utilization of AnGR refers not only to their current use but also to their development for future use. AnGR may have been in use for many years but, with further development, could better meet community needs. There are important differences among countries in the state of use and development of AnGR, including differences in capacity and in policy development and application.

In completing the following section, it is recommended that you:

If it is more convenient for you, you may wish to address the state of utilization of AnGR separately for each species or group of species (e.g., grazing ruminants, etc.).


4.1 The State of Use of AnGR:

This section should describe how AnGR are being used in your country for food and agriculture. You should try to help the reader to understand which genetic resources are most important and how they are used.

4.1.1 Policy and Legal Instruments:


4.1.2 State of Use by Species:

If they do differ:

  1. How do they differ?
  2. Why do they differ? and
  3. What impact does this have on AnGR in your country?

For each species:

For each species and major production system:

For each species:

4.1.3 The State of Capacity to Use AnGR, by Species:
4.1.4 Trends and Future Use of AnGR, by Species

4.2 The State of Development of AnGR:

This section should address the further development of AnGR in your country, which should describe the activities that are under way or that are planned to enhance the value of your AnGR. Programs to:

  1. improve breeds that are already in the country, as well as
  2. programs to acquire breeds that are not already available, should be included.
4.2.1 Policy and Legal Instruments:
4.2.2 The State of Genetic Development, by Species: 

For each species:

For each species:

4.2.3 State of Capacity for Development of AnGR, by Species:
4.2.4 Trends and Future Development of AnGR, by Species:

4.3 Obstacles, Opportunities, and Needs for Use and Development of AnGR, by Species

For each species and production system:

For each species:

For each species:


The primary purpose of this section is to identify the state of conservation programmes in your country which include:

  1. in situ conservation in the environment in which the breed developed its distinctive properties, and
  2. ex situ conservation maintenance of small closely managed populations outside their adaptive environment e.g. in artificial or semi-artificial settings, and freezing or cryo-conservation of genetic material, semen, embryos, DNA, cells or ova.


5.1 Conservation Questions

For each species:

  1. in situ (e.g. on-farm, on-station [public institutions], nucleus-herds, conservation farms, others);
  2. ex situ (e.g. live conservation, cryo-conservation)

Who is responsible for these programmes? Are there action plans and ongoing monitoring of `at risk' breeds for each species?


The purpose of this section is to examine institutional arrangements, organizations, and programmes for AnGR and the policy and legal frameworks that underpin them.


6.1 Questions on Policy Development and Institutional Arrangements

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