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Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

FAO online database aims to protect local livestock diversity

Safeguarding livestock diversity is the objective of the latest version of an online database launched by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The goal is to help countries better monitor and manage animal breeds at risk of extinction: something which could threaten access to food but also sustainable development in rural areas.

FAO estimates that around 25 percent of the world’s local farm animal breeds run the risk of being wiped out, such as the Inyambo cattle in Rwanda and the H’mong pig in Vietnam.


Emergency animal health campaign launched around Mosul

A lesser-known casualty of the brutal fighting to liberate Mosul from Daesh, or ISIL extremists, has been livestock around the northern Iraqi city, said the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on Monday.

FAO’s Emergency Response Coordinator in Iraq, Paul Schlunke, said most animals have not been vaccinated in three years, and FAO is concerned they could carry and spread infectious disease.

The area – liberated by Iraqi government and coalition forces in July - is home to more than 200,000 people whose livelihoods depend on herding cattle or other livestock.


Fall armyworm pest spreading fast across Africa from Americas

The so-called “fall armyworm” pest is a “new threat” to agriculture and the economy of Southern Africa which has already spread to seven countries since the beginning of the year.

That’s according to an emergency meeting convened by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in the Zimbabwean capital, Harare, this week, to work out how best to respond to the rapidly growing threat.

Livestock training programme empowers rural women in Rwanda

Rwanda leads the world when it comes to the number of women serving in parliament.

More than half the elected officials there are women.

Gender equality is also helping to reduce poverty in remote areas of the East African country, according to the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

Joanne Levitan reports on a training programme that is changing lives on family farms in rural Rwanda.

Duration: 4’12”

UN Photo/Tim McKulka

Vets and microbiologists learn to map virus DNA

Veterinarians and microbiologists from Africa and Asia have been learning how to map the DNA of viruses at a workshop organised by the UN’s atomic energy agency, the IAEA.

Understanding DNA can give scientists important information to find a cure for a disease and even stop it from spreading.

It’s hoped the technique can be used to protect vulnerable livestock populations.

Steve Thachet reports from Vienna.

Duration: 3’15”

IRIN/Siegfried Modola

Changing weather patterns lead to food insecurity in Ethiopia

More than eight million Ethiopians need food aid following crop failures brought on by the climatic phenomenon known as El Niño.

The changing weather conditions caused by El Niño have led to reduced rainfall in large parts of Africa with Ethiopia being hit hard, according to the World Food Programme (WFP).

The UN agency says the country had already suffered erratic rains earlier this year which resulted in near total crop failure as well as high levels of livestock deaths among pastoral communities.