A rich trove of sub-Saharan Africa's forage genetic resources conserved at ILCA
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The forage genetic resources activities at ILCA located in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, focus on the acquisition, maintenance, characterization, evaluation, and distribution of forage germplasm for development and utilization as livestock feeds. The genetic resources required for forage development are increasingly being eroded, especially in Africa. The ILCA genebank holds more than 12,000 accessions of grasses, legumes, and fodder trees with a wide representation of the major genera identified for potential forage use. The ILCA genebank holds both an active collection for research and distribution of seeds, and a base collection for long-term security storage. This paper discusses characterization and evaluation of the existing collection, research and monitoring activities, lack of information on breeding system which is one of the constraints to the correct management of forage germplasm, and training in genetic resources given to young sientists. The paper also summarises a proposed project - "Indigenous forage genetic resources basis for livestock feed"
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