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Breeding and conservation programmes for Sahiwal cattle genetic resources in the tropics: a review

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 December 2011

E.D. Ilatsia*
Affiliation:
Institute of Animal Production in the Tropics and Subtropics (480a), University of Hohenheim, Garbenstrasse 17, 70593 Stuttgart, Germany Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, National Animal Husbandry Research Centre, Naivasha Kenya, P.O. Box 25, 20117 Naivasha, Kenya
R. Roessler
Affiliation:
Institute of Animal Production in the Tropics and Subtropics (480a), University of Hohenheim, Garbenstrasse 17, 70593 Stuttgart, Germany
A.K. Kahi
Affiliation:
Animal Breeding and Genetics Group, Department of Animal Sciences, Egerton University, P.O. Box 536, 20115 Egerton, Kenya
A. Valle Zárate
Affiliation:
Institute of Animal Production in the Tropics and Subtropics (480a), University of Hohenheim, Garbenstrasse 17, 70593 Stuttgart, Germany
*
Correspondence to: E.D. Ilatsia, Institute of Animal Production in the Tropics and Subtropics (480a), University of Hohenheim, Garbenstrasse 17, 70593 Stuttgart, Germany. email: evansilatsia@yahoo.com
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Summary

Studies on Sahiwal cattle genetic resources in the tropics have mainly concentrated on evaluating their performance levels, with only a few published reports describing the breed characteristics. The aim of this study was to critically examine the existing breeding and conservation programmes for Sahiwal cattle in the tropics, focusing on Pakistan, India and Kenya as the core regions of development. The study was based on review of both published and unpublished literature highlighting shortcomings and strengths in the existing strategies, and opportunities for improvement and conservation. The Sahiwal breed is utilized for dairy and beef production under smallholder dairy, pastoral extensive and ranching production systems, both as pure-breds or cross-breds. The necessary components to strengthen the breeding programmes such as performance recording, genetic evaluation and artificial insemination (AI) facilities exist to differing degrees. Breeding and conservation efforts benefit from the technical and financial support from government research institutions which also provide incentives to enhance participation in the programmes. However, breeding goals are rather informal and only defined in terms of high-production levels with functional traits largely ignored. There is need for participatory identification of breeding and production goals, and structured cooperation of the small herds, so as to accommodate the specific contributions of the breed in future breeding and conservation programmes.

Résumé

Les études sur les ressources génétiques des bovins Sahiwal aux tropiques se sont principalement concentrées sur l'évaluation de leurs niveaux de performance et uniquement quelques rares publications ont décrit les caractéristiques de la race. Cette étude a pour but l'analyse critique des programmes de sélection et de conservation existants qui concernent les bovins Sahiwal aux tropiques, avec une attention particulière pour le Pakistan, l'Inde et le Kenya en tant que régions principales de développement. L'étude se base sur l'examen des documents publiés et non publiés qui mettent en évidence les lacunes et les points forts des stratégies actuelles, ainsi que les opportunités d'amélioration et de conservation. La race Sahiwal, pure ou croisée, est utilisée pour la production laitière et de viande dans les petites exploitations de production laitière, dans les systèmes de production agropastorale extensive et de pâturage extensif. Les éléments nécessaires pour renforcer le programme de sélection, comme le contrôle des performances, l'évaluation génétique et les installations pour l'insémination artificielle, sont en place à des stades différents. Les initiatives de sélection et de conservation bénéficient de l'appui technique et financier des institutions gouvernementales de recherche qui fournissent également des mesures d'incitation pour accroître la participation aux programmes. Cependant, les objectifs de sélection sont plutôt informels et uniquement définis selon des niveaux de production élevée tandis que les caractères fonctionnels sont largement ignorés. Il est nécessaire d'identifier de façon participative les objectifs de sélection et de production, et une coopération structurée des petits troupeaux pour que les contributions spécifiques de la race soient incluses aux prochains programmes de sélection et de conservation.

Resumen

Los estudios sobre los recursos genéticos pertenecientes al ganado Sahiwal en el trópico han estado centrados, principalmente, en la evaluación de sus niveles de rendimiento, con muy pocos trabajos publicados describiendo las características de la raza. El objetivo de este estudio ha sido examinar de forma crítica los programas de mejora y conservación existentes para el ganado Sahiwal en el trópico, centrados en Pakistán, India y Kenia, como las regiones centrales de desarrollo. El estudio se ha basado en la revisión del material publicado y no publicado hasta el momento, destacando las deficiencias y fortalezas en las estrategias existentes y las oportunidades de mejora y conservación. La raza Sahiwal se utiliza para la producción de leche y carne por parte de pequeños productores de leche y sistemas de producción de cría extensiva, tanto para animales de raza pura como para animales cruzados. Los componentes necesarios para fortalecer el programa de mejora, tales como los registros de rendimiento, las evaluaciones genéticas y las instalaciones para la inseminación artificial existen para diferenciar los distintos grados. Los esfuerzos en mejora y conservación se benefician del apoyo técnico y financiero de instituciones gubernamentales de investigación, que también proporcionan incentivos para aumentar la participación en tales programas. Sin embargo, los objetivos de mejora son más bien informales y sólo definidos en términos de altos niveles de producción, con las características funcionales ignoradas en gran medida. Existe la necesidad de llevar a cabo una identificación participativa de las metas relacionadas con la mejora y con la producción, así como una cooperación estructurada de los rebaños de pequeño tamaño, a fin de dar cabida a las aportaciones específicas de la raza en los futuros programas de mejora y conservación.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations 2011

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