By Dr. Devendra
ABSTRACT: The elements that determine the success of development projects on goats and the prerequisites for ensuring this are discussed in the context of the bewildering diversity of goat genetic resources, production systems, multifunctionality, and opportunities for responding to constraints for productivity enhancement. Key determinants for the success of pro-poor projects are the imperatives of realistic project design, resolution of priorities and positive impacts to increase investments and spur agricultural growth, and appropriate policy. Throughout the developing world, there exist 97% of the total world population of 921 million goats across all agro-ecological zones (AEZs), including 570 breeds and 64% share of the breeds. They occupy a very important biological and socio-economic niche in farming systems making significant multifunctional contributions especially to food, nutrition and financial security, stability of farm households, and survival of the poor in the rural areas. Definitions are given of successful and failed projects.
“Bridges between scientific advances and farm development”
by Hervé Hoste
This conference took place in Toulouse, France from March 24th to March 28th, 2013, and joined with a session of the COST Action FA0805 CAPARA on “Goat-Parasite Interactions: From Knowledge to Control”
Aims and Scope
Since the first meeting in Armidale (Australia) in 1995, the International Conferences on the Novel Approaches (NA) to the Control of Helminth in Livestock aimed at stimulating links between scientists and specialists of extension services from developed, emerging and developing countries on the specific topic of the control of helminthes in livestock. The main objectives of the COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) Action CAPARA (Goat-parasite interactions: from knowledge to control) FA0805 are similar to those of the Novel Approaches meeting. However, as indicated by its title “Goat-Parasite Interactions: From Knowledge To Control” this COST Action is specifically dedicated to caprine production.
Both the Novel Approaches Conferences and the CAPARA Cost Action FA0805 are frameworks where the importance to maintain or expand links between scientific advances and extension services and end-users is underlined. Last but not least, this conference was also supported by the International Goat Association.
Following a recent Heifer Board meeting in Little Rock, Dr. Devendra sat down with Christian De Vries for a relaxed and candid interview. They discussed a wide range of issues on the development of goats, including: the evolution and importance of IGA, consistent interest and commitment to the development of the species, trends in their multi-functional values, and priorities for the future.
You’ve been involved with IGA since the beginning. How did it start?
“Few people know the background that led to the formation of IGA. It was born during a bus ride for a field excursion, during the 2nd International Goat Conference in Tours, France in 1971.* I made the suggestion to Prof. Christian Gall from Germany who was sitting next to me that that we move to form a professional association to provide information and promote the development of goats. This led to the formation of The World Committee on Goats in which Prof. Gall was made the President and I was elected as the Vice-President, with the Secretariat in France. Since then I have served over a record 17 years as Vice-President, by my own choice, to work with colleagues so that I could play a more effective role in spreading the regional focus and development of goats, assisting the Presidents, and finding venues for the international conferences in which I was directly involved with four.”
We wish to congratulate our long-term friend, a former IGA Vice-President and member of the Board of Directors and current Country Representative in Malaysia, Dr. Canagasaby Devendra. He was chosen to serve on the Heifer International Board of Directors as an At-Large Representative residing in the Asia/South Pacific region in November 2012.
Dr. Devendra said that he was pleasantly surprised at the appointment and felt deeply honored to join this prestigious development organization. He is excited to be part of its noble mission and values to promote agricultural development in small farm systems and improve the livelihoods of poor rural communities.
Biosecurity is a set of practices that are used to minimize the transmission of disease-causing organisms in animal populations, including their introduction, spread within the population, and release. Biosecurity is proactive and focuses on routine, day-to-day on-farm activities to protect the health of the herd.
The Standard was developed through a partnership of the Canadian National Goat Federation (CNGF) and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), in collaboration with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC). An advisory committee made up of producers, along with representatives from regional and sector-specific goat industry organizations, colleges and universities, and the public sector, provided invaluable guidance throughout the process.
The Standard is a useful tool for goat producers when developing and implementing on-farm biosecurity plans. It contains a set of recommendations that can be adapted to the needs of each farm to raise its current level of biosecurity.
Why is biosecurity important?
Animal health management has undergone significant change in recent years, influenced by:
As a result, using a proactive approach as the first line of defence in animal health is more important now than ever before. Livestock industries have therefore started to shift their focus to disease prevention and on-farm biosecurity.
Clearly, biosecurity is important not only for improving animal health on the farm, but also for strengthening the Canadian goat industry as a whole.
IGA regrets to inform its members of the passing of Dr. R. Ashley Robinson, a leading advocate for small ruminants in international development.
Dr. Robinson was a native of New Zealand. He earned his bachelor's degree in veterinary science from the University of Sydney in Australia, and his master's in public health and doctorate in veterinary microbiology from the University of Minnesota, where he was a faculty member for 20 years. Dr. Robinson came out of retirement to serve as Associate Dean of Pre-Clinical Programs at Western University School of Veterinary Medicine in Davis, California. He was active in development work with FAO, Heifer International and many projects, especially in the Middle East and South Asia.
“He was internationally renowned both as an epidemiologist and an educator. His expertise in zoonotic diseases, food safety, public health and international veterinary medicine has had an impact on veterinarians around the world,” says Shirley Johnston, DVM, PhD, Vice President of University Advancement at Western University of Health Sciences.
The International Goat Association promotes goat research and development for the benefit of humankind, to alleviate poverty, to promote prosperity and to improve the quality of life.