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Livestock Market's Globalization results in erosion of farm animal diversity
Jun 18, 2007

Livestock Market's globalization has posed threats before the farm animal gene pool and future food security. Since, it's likely to lead to the erosion of farm animal diversity.

"Nearly 20% breeds of domestic animal are vulnerable to extinction, with one breed losing each month, as a result of livestock market's globalization that favors high output breeds over multiple-gene pool that could be crucial for food security in future", said Rome based U.N. Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) on 18 December 2006.

It's been discovered that of above 7,600 breeds, in FAO worldwide database that contains farm animal genetic resources, 190 have already vanished over the years 1991-2006 and now 1,500 are endangered to extinction.

Livestock market, in 2006, makes up around 30% of agricultural GDP in developing nations, a figure expected to increase nearly 40% by the year 2030. About one billion people across the world earn their livelihood via livestock, and around 70% of poor villagers rely on it for their survival. Livestock market's globalization is the largest single factor that's impacting its diversity.

"Five species, namely cattle, goats, sheep, chickens, and pigs, provide for a majority of food-production", Irene Hoffmann - Animal Production Service chief of FAO said this. "Selection in breeds of high output is centered on production traits & tends to underestimate adaptive and functional traits. This process results in a narrowing base of genetics in commercially successful as well as other breeds or species, are rejected in return to the market forces", he added.

Although, a number of countries have the same opinion for developing national plans to conserve and use genetic resources, it's sometimes difficult for the developing nations that may've no idea even about the types and number of their native livestock breeds. Increasing realization of animal genetic resources' significance has resulted in a worldwide initiative for assessing domestic biodiversity in every nation willing to participate.

"Owing to the interdependence of countries on animal genetic resources, facilitating the persistent exchange & further development of these resources is required. This needs to be done in order to ensure the benefits actually reach to farmers, breeders, consumers pastoralists, and the entire society", said a
RNCOS analyst.

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