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Project Description

Economic evaluation of animal genetic resources – how and which conservation steps can be

16% of those breeds used for agricultural production have been lost since the turn of the last century and further 30% are currently at risk of becoming extinct and the rate of extinction continues to accelerate. Domestic farm animals are crucial for food and agriculture, having a share of 30 to 40% of the agricultural sector’s global economic value. Around 2 billion people depend at least partly on farm animals for their livelihoods and they suffer the most from the extinction of their local breeds. Furthermore, maintaining genetic variation is crucial for improving livestock and responding to changes in climate, disease or consumer preferences Existing genetic resources represent a massive past investment which, if managed appropriately, can provide insurance against unknown global future.

The research comprises an empirical study aiming to evaluate the economic value of the Borana cattle in Kenya and Ethiopia. The Borana cattle are originated in Northern Kenya and Southern Ethiopia and have many unique traits, valuable for the local farmers. Furthermore, the study seeks to identify the best conservation strategies for maintaining this breed by quantifying its conservation costs.

The decision for maintaining the Borana cattle is based on the risk status, the amount and distribution of existing animals as well as on its economic value for the farmers. Maintaining a breed that is of no use for the farmers is inappropriate, particularly when the budget for conservation steps is limited. In order not only to assess the use values of the breed but also its non-use values, a stated choice method will be applied. The data for the model is
based on a farm-level survey, conducted from August 2003 until January 2004.

Start Date: 10/2002 End Date: 09/2005
Duration: 3 years Status: execution
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Karin Holm-Müller
Funding: Robert Bosch Foundation
Contact Person: Kerstin Zander, ZEF, Walter-Flex-Str. 3, 53115 Bonn,


Last Updated: Tuesday, August 01, 2017