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See detailThe use of SWOT analysis to explore and prioritize conservation and development strategies for local cattle breeds
Martin-Collado, D; Diaz, C; Mäki-Tanila, A et al

in Animal (2013), 7(6), 885-894

SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis is a tool widely used to help in decision making in complex systems. It suits to exploring the issues and measures related to the ... [more ▼]

SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis is a tool widely used to help in decision making in complex systems. It suits to exploring the issues and measures related to the conservation and development of local breeds, as it allows the integration of many driving factors influencing breed dynamics. We developed a quantified SWOT method as a ecisionmaking tool for identification and ranking of conservation and development strategies of local breeds, and applied it to a set of 13 cattle breeds of six European countries. The method has four steps: definition of the system, identification and grouping of the driving factors, quantification of the importance of driving factors and identification and prioritization of the strategies. The factors were determined following a multi-stakeholder approach and grouped with a three-level structure. Animal genetic resources expert groups ranked the factors, and a quantification process was implemented to identify and prioritize strategies. The proposed SWOT methodology allows analyzing the dynamics of local cattle breeds in a structured and systematic way. It is a flexible tool developed to assist different stakeholders in defining the strategies and actions. The quantification process allows the comparison of the driving factors and the prioritization of the strategies for the conservation and development of local cattle breeds. We identified 99 factors across the breeds. Although the situation is very heterogeneous, the future of these breeds may be promising. The most important strengths and weaknesses were related to production systems and farmers. The most important opportunities were found in marketing new products, whereas the most relevant threats were found in selling the current products. The across-breed strategies utility decreased as they gained specificity. Therefore, the strategies at European level should focus on general aspects and be flexible enough to be adapted to the country and breed specificities. [less ▲]

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See detailFarmer's views and values to focus on cattle conservation policies: the case of eight European countries
Gandini, G; Martin-Collado, D; Colinet, Frédéric ULg et al

in Journal of Animal Breeding & Genetics (2012), 129

Our aim was to identify elements useful in designing policies and programmes for conservation of farm animal genetic resources, taking as case study a group of European local cattle breeds. We first ... [more ▼]

Our aim was to identify elements useful in designing policies and programmes for conservation of farm animal genetic resources, taking as case study a group of European local cattle breeds. We first investigated the implications of differences among countries in the policies and programmes to be developed. Secondly, we analysed key elements common to countries, which may affect local breed viability. We used the herd size trend expected by the farmer in the near future as an indicator of breed viability. Fifteen breeds, for a total of 355 farms, were surveyed. To take into account the multiple factors influencing breeds’ demographic trends, the questionnaire included economical, technical and social aspects. Among the major differences across countries was the perception of the farmer on the value attributed to the local breed by society. Concerning the elements common to countries and their association to breed viability, the greater the collaboration among farmers and the stakeholders’ appreciation as perceived by the farmer, the greater the viability of the farm. An opposite trend was observed for the age of the farmer. Older farmers generally planned to soon cease farming or decrease herd size, whereas young farmers planned to increase the size of their herds. Implications of including these elements in conservation polices are discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailMotives and values in farming local cattle breeds in Europe: a survey on 15 breeds
Gandini, G.; Avon, L.; Bohte-Wilhelmus, D. et al

in Animal Genetic Resources (2010), 47

Within the EURECA project (Towards self-sustainable EUropean REgional CAttle breeds), we interviewed a total of 371 farmers of 15 local cattle breeds in eight European countries. Besides collecting data ... [more ▼]

Within the EURECA project (Towards self-sustainable EUropean REgional CAttle breeds), we interviewed a total of 371 farmers of 15 local cattle breeds in eight European countries. Besides collecting data on farmers, land use, herd composition and economic role of cattle, we aimed at understanding farmers’ motives and values in keeping local cattle. The most frequent first reason to keep the local breed was productivity, followed by tradition. When comparing the local breed with a mainstream breed, only in four breeds was productivity considered the same, while in three breeds more than 50 percent of farmers valued the local breed as more profitable. The local breed was valued as always superior or the same on functional traits. Farmers were asked which type of appreciation they thought representatives of various stakeholders had on their local breed: a positive appreciation was observed in 33 percent of farmers. On average across breeds, 39 percent of farmers expect to increase the size of their herd in the next few years and 5 percent plan to give up farming. The degree of dependence of farmers on economic incentives was estimated by asking farmers their expected behaviour under three scenarios of change of subsidies. Most farmers demanded activities for promoting local breed farming. The results are discussed in terms of breed sustainability and conservation. [less ▲]

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See detailAn integrated view of technical, economic and social factors influencing sustainabiligy of sixteen local European cattle breeds
Martin-Collado, D.; Diaz, C.; Choroszy, Z. et al

in Book of Abstracts of the 60th Annual Meeting of the European Association for Animal Production (2009, August)

This study aims to identify common patterns influencing dynamics and sustainability of 16 local European cattle breeds from Belgium, Estonia, Finland, France, Holland, Ireland, Italy and Spain. A broad ... [more ▼]

This study aims to identify common patterns influencing dynamics and sustainability of 16 local European cattle breeds from Belgium, Estonia, Finland, France, Holland, Ireland, Italy and Spain. A broad range of factors related to technical (e.g. farm size, cows/ha, land ownership), economic (e.g. cattle importance on farm and family income, type of market) and social (e.g. farmers and stakeholders attitude) aspects were surveyed on a total of 401 farms. Discriminant Analysis has been used to study the implications that heterogeneity within and across countries and breeds may have in making inferences in across country or breed analyses. Thus, farms were classified according to country and breeds. Then the objective was to evaluate how all factors available allow us to distinguish such classes. The analyses provided the percentage of observations (farms) that should not be included in the pre-defined groups (country and breed) according to the variables considered. When only economic variables were considered in the analyses, 36% and 59% of farms were incorrectly assigned to their country and breed, respectively. However, considering technical variables the proportions went down to 33% and 45%. Finally, when both groups of variables were considered 20% and 35% of farms were incorrectly assigned. To what extent these mismatches may allow us to identify general patterns has to be evaluated. [less ▲]

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