The Director of Research and Services at the Central Agriculture Research Institute (CARI), Dr. Arthur Bob Karnuah has disclosed that his department has received a grant from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to collect/conduct baseline data on Liberia’s Animal Genetic Resources (AnGR).
From what has being gathered, the main objective of the project is to collect baseline data on the country’s animal genetic resources by undertaking a survey and characterization of indigenous and exotic breeds available (cattle, goats, sheep and pigs) and their production system in Liberia and to establish a national “Strategy Action Plan” to guide the proper management of these resources.
In the main time, the project also envisaged that this intervention will contribute to the rapid re-establishment and revitalization of the livestock sector to stream line research activities and production to enhance to smooth operation of the department.
Dr. Arthur B. Karnuah, Director of Livestock and Services at CARI narrated that upon his ascendency as head of the department it was quickly notice that there was a lock of scientific livestock data and information, along with the production system in Liberia.
He expressed thanks and gratitude to FAO for approving the grant and indicated that information gathered could be essential for the conservation and improvement of the genetic materials and will provide the necessary data needed by CARI, MOA and other stakeholders to carry out meaningful and sustainable livestock research and production programs to expand domestic livestock production and meet domestic demand.
“Based on the rationale and lack of livestock data, the department under my supervision wrote and submitted a project proposal to FAO/Liberia for funding. I am pleased to mention that the proposal was accepted for funding under the Technical Cooperation Program (TCP)”.
Particularly, Dr. Karnuah noted, the Livestock Division at CARI will be the main beneficiary of the project along with the National Livestock Bureau and the Technical Services Department of the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA). Also the NGOs in Liberia that are working within the livestock sector will be benefited. The community identified to implement the CBBP will benefit through improved management their goat AnGR, leading to increased productivity and greater genetic diversity. Lessons learned from the CBBP will eventually benefit other similar communities that will adopt the CBBP.
Accordingly, the project has three main components and will also guide policy decision to achieve food security, poverty reduction and reduction of dependency on food imports, especially meat. The envisaged impacts of the project are in line with the objectives of the Government of Liberia through the LASIP as well as FAO through the CPF and UNDAF.
The Livestock Department Head and former Research Scientist at the Department of Poultry Science, University of Georgia said the first component of the FAO grant agreement will be an exploratory approach, while a survey will be conducted in all 15 counties aimed at characterizing livestock breeds and the production systems. This information will provide a basis for development of animal genetic resources characterization plan.