There is more livestock diversity in Africa than on any other continent. Some indigenous breeds of cattle, goats and sheep are disease resistant, and others can withstand feed and water shortages. But most are less productive than some imported breeds and so do not meet farmers' needs. Millions of poor livestock keepers are importing animals, or cross-breeding their local animals with imported breeds to get more productive livestock. But imported breeds need expensive care because they are much less hardy, and animal deaths are increasing. There is a danger that many of Africa's indigenous livestock breeds will disappear, just as climate changes and population growth are making their hardy traits increasingly important for food security across the region. This film tells the story of an unusual research and development project working to increase understanding of a disease-resistant cattle breed of West Africa along with what is needed to improve the marketing and processing of their products. This information will then be combined with better feeding and breeding schemes, farmer training and policy changes to make indigenous animals more profitable for poor farmers, so that the important genetic traits of these native breeds are not lost forever. A film from The International Livestock Research Institute www.ilri.org
Today's science and development issues are complex, often involving multiple international players, yet demanding local solutions. Increasingly, many acknowledge that such local solutions can best be summed up and communicated by showing local people talking in their own surroundings, especially in a world where few outside the research communities have the time or expertise to assess raw data. In this setting, science and development documentaries fill a vital role.The film department at ILRI (the International Livestock Research Institute) therefore aims to widen understanding of important topics that face pro-poor agricultural research in livestock issues, so removing one stumbling-block to the quick up-take of new technologies among those who could benefit most.