The online two-day International Workshop on the “Role of Animal Genetic Resources in Ensuring Food Security and Improving Livestock Production” began on 13 September 2021 by the IOFS Secretariat with the participation of over 110 representatives of relevant government agencies, research/scientific institutions and universities of OIC member states.
The loss of genetic diversity of animals reduces the possibilities for maintaining local breeds (genetic selection activities) and the possibility of creating new local breeds of animals that are adapted for breeding in local climatic conditions within extensive agriculture and are most suitable for breeding in medium and smallholder farms. Therefore, the organization of this event is important to identify and discuss the challenges, as well as assess the current state of genetic resources of farm animals across OIC countries. It is also in line with the Dubai Declaration adopted by member states at the International Conference on Development of National Gene Banks, 5-6 July 2020 in Dubai, UAE.
The opening session of the Workshop included the welcoming remarks of H.E. Mr. Syed Fakhar Imam, the Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, H.E. Prof. Dr. M. Iqbal Choudhary, the Coordinator General of COMSTECH, H.E. Dr. Aly Abousabaa, the Director General of ICARDA, H.E. Dr. Jean-Jacques Soula, the Special Advisor, of World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and H.E. Mr. Yerlan A. Baidaulet, the Director General of IOFS.
The Workshop provides the platform for participants to discuss the problems in management of animal genetic resources and make an outline of the current state of genetic resources of agricultural animals (cattle, small ruminants, sheep and goat, camels) in the OIC member countries. The first session focused on the role of animal genetic resources in food security and agriculture, that consisted presentations on the role of animal genetic resources in Turkey, Bangladesh and Qatar; gaps in the management of animal genetic resources in Tunisia and developed-developing countries; status of genetic resources of agricultural animals in Yemen; pastoral livestock system in Chad; state and assessment of genetic results in Azerbaijan. The second session dedicated on the camels genetic resources and included presentations on camelids genetic resources in Algeria; camel biodiversity in Kazakhstan and their phenotypes studies; and molecular genetic analysis of camel and sheep breeds in Kazakhstan.
The second day will be followed with two sessions on the management of genetic resources of farm animals, and genetic resources of cattle and small ruminants, sheep and goat.