Preliminary information on the status of sustainable use, characterization and inventory of animal genetic resources in Nigeria
The full potential of animal genetic resources (AnGR) is not presently realized in Nigeria and urgent response is required to improve the use and development which will subsequently address the current rapid erosion. The prevailing practice around the world is that animals are frequently bred according to the pre-determined breeds’ standard set down by the governing Organizations. Indiscriminate animal breeding is however prevalent in Nigeria with numerous and published works on both conservation and characterization of AnGR that were neither documented to local nor International database of animal diversity. Some Universities and Research Institutes have however come up with findings that revealed actual information on economically important animal species and breeds which have not been centralized Nationwide. These include animal population and distribution data, breeding structure and organization, animal performance data, animal reproductive characteristics data, adaptation/tolerance to specific environmental conditions, biochemical/physiological markers and genetic/molecular markers. However, conservation, breeding and registration of both the existing and new animal breeds in compliance with the Nigeria’s descriptors format is necessary for the country inventory of animal genetic resources population. Likewise, the characterization and documentation of information on the AnGR into a database is crucial. Structured questionnaires will be administered among the stakeholders to collate data and information on the phenotypic and molecular characterization of AnGR in Nigeria. This strategy will facilitate the harmonization of AnGR information, leading to the registration of both the existing and locally adapted animal breeds in Nigeria; thereby enhancing the National database of animal diversity.
Keywords: Animal genetic resources, conservation and breeding, registration, characterization, inventory