One of the objectives of the workshop is to describe transhumant production system in terms of livestock populations, periods, evolution and map flows in The Gambia and to develop methods and approaches to assess the effects of transhumance on endemic animal genetic resources and their environment, and supervise the implementation of the approaches in the country.
The validation which kicks off today, is taking place at the Jenoi Agricultural Training Centre in Lower River Region.
In West Africa, ruminant livestock production is predominantly extensive as livestock depend mainly on natural pastures while transhumance is widely practised to take advantage of the seasonality of fodder growth, which is abundant during the rains and scarce during the dry season.
Endemic ruminant livestock are the dominant breeds in the sub-humid zone of West Africa because of their tolerance to tsetse-borne trypanososomiasis, which is a serious barrier to sustainable production of the large frame trypano-susceptible breeds endemic to the drier ecosystems.
It further revealed that the continued unplanned and unregulated crossing of the endemic ruminant livestock in wetter zone, with their larger frame cousins from the drier Sahel, is gradually leading to gene dilution of the former, and in the long run, result in a serious threat to their continued survival and loss of unique adaptation due to hostile environment.]]>