Ethiopian woman churning butter the traditional way (photo credit: ILRI/Apollo Habtamu).
A new study by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations argues that to succeed, livestock breed conservation efforts must empower women.
‘Women livestock keepers worldwide must be recognized as the major actors in efforts to arrest the decline of indigenous breeds, crucial for rural food security and animal genetics, [the] new FAO study argues.
‘Yet women’s contribution to indigenous livestock breeding and conservation is poorly documented and undervalued, the study Invisible Guardians: Women Manage Livestock Diversity says.
‘Of the 600 million poor livestock keepers in the world, around two-thirds are women, whose men often have migrated to the cities. Women stay at home with the children and live by cultivating crops and keeping indigenous small stock such as chickens or goats, and perhaps a cow.
‘Indigenous breeds are adapted to often harsh local conditions, are disease…
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