Deterministic simulations to determine the impacts of economic and non-economic breeding objectives on sustainable intensification of developing smallholder dairy farms
Kariuki, C.M. ; Arendonk, J.A.M. van; Kahi, A.K. ; Komen, H. - \ 2019
Livestock Science 226 (2019). - ISSN 1871-1413 - p. 7 - 12.
Breeding objectives - Developing dairy cattle systems - Non-market weights - Sustainability
Dairy cattle farming in developing countries is mainly by resource poor smallholder farmers. Intensification of production within smallholder production systems is being driven by increasing demand for animal products. Current intensification is driven by importation of high-input high-output genotypes. This puts in question the sustainability of these resource constrained systems under harsh environmental conditions. Sustainability of production systems can be defined as long-term resilience and productivity. We use deterministic simulations to compare the impacts of three criteria to define breeding objectives i.e., economic, desired gains and non-market value, on annual genetic and monetary gains in production (market) and functional (non-market) traits for a small-sized nucleus genomic selection breeding program under developing country conditions. Market traits considered were milk yield (MY) and mature body weight (MBW). Non-market traits were calving interval (CI) and production lifetime (PLT). Fat yield (FY) was also considered a non-market trait as it had no market value. With the economic objective, traits were weighted on economic values. Weights for desired gains and non-market (NM) values were derived iteratively. Economic objectives placed highest emphasis on MY with very little gains in non-market traits but had the highest returns on investment. For desired gains objective, maximal achievable gains in PLT, CI and FY were lower than the indicated desired gains. The non-market value objective achieved the best compromise between gains in MY and other traits. We conclude that non-market value objectives can be applied to direct selection towards more robust genotypes but with loss in monetary gain. Breeding robust genotypes can contribute to sustainable intensification in developing small-holder dairy systems. However, for such objectives to be satisfactory, a sound criterion is required to determine declines in genetic gains for market traits that are acceptable by producers.
Production system and participatory identification of breeding objective traits for indigenous goat breeds of Uganda
Onzima, R.B. ; Gizaw, S. ; Kugonza, D.R. ; Arendonk, J.A.M. van; Kanis, E. - \ 2018
Small Ruminant Research 163 (2018). - ISSN 0921-4488 - p. 51 - 59.
Breed preference - Breeding objectives - Breeding programs - Indigenous goats - Production/adaptation traits - Smallholder farmers
The success of breeding programs in improving indigenous livestock breeds in Uganda has hitherto been limited due to lack of involvement of the key stakeholders. Thus, participatory approaches are being promoted for designing community based improvement programs. The aim of this study was to characterize the indigenous goat production systems and assess in a participatory manner farmer preferred traits for establishing breeding objectives for indigenous goat breeds in Uganda. 217 farm households representing three goat production systems (combinations of breed and region) were individually interviewed to assess the socio-economic characteristics of the regions and the preferences of the farmers for indigenous goat breeds. The three breed/region combinations were 78 households with the Small East African breed in Arua, 81 with the Mubende breed in Mubende and 58 with the Kigezi breed in Kabale. An index based approach was used to rank farmers' choices of traits considered important for their production systems. Descriptive statistics show that overall the production systems were not significantly different in terms of the nature of the farms and the trait preferences of the farmers. The sale of live animals was considered a primary objective for keeping goats by farmers across all the production systems studied. Adaptation traits (disease resistance, heat tolerance and survival) were considered critical in the farmers' preferred breed. Production traits (better prolificacy and faster growth rate) and marketing ease were other characteristics considered by the farmers. The results from the study are useful for designing farmer-participatory breeding programs for goats in the different production systems in Uganda.