C. Philipp Riedel, Jes Weigelt, Kurt-Johannes Peters:
Strategies for the Sustainable Utilisation of Indigenous Breeds in Central and Eastern European Countries (CEECs)


Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Department for Animal Breeding in the Tropics and Subtropics, Germany

The enlargement of the EU market causes increased competition in Central and East European Countries. Farmers in the CEECs adapt to these changing economic conditions by specialising and intensifying their production. Small farms where indigenous breeds are mainly kept, are likely to be pushed out of the market. These processes lead to increased rural poverty and to a loss of agricultural biological diversity. The maintenance of agricultural biological diversity delivers positive external effects. As the market fails to reward these positive external effects there is an urgent need to find adequate means to internalise these effects. Possible means to identify the adequate amount of subsidies to be paid are economic valuation methods to assign a monetary value to non-market values. Other reasons for preservation of traditional breeds include the uncertainty of future conditions for food production and therefore the responsibility to preserve options for the next generations. The study presents approaches for in-vivo preservation for indigenous breeds in CEECs. In considerations of the goal of sustainable development emphasis is placed on approaches to preserve the breeds through the utilisation of their specific characteristics. Referring to policies developed by the FAO, following steps were identified.: i) identification of indigenous breeds in a country, ii) evaluation of the breed with regard to their products and other benefits they provide to the society, iii) classification of the breeds according their benefits derived from economic, ecological, cultural and scientific values. iv) development of suitable preservation approaches related to the identified values. Requirements for the implementation of preservation approaches are outlined. These include the adequate institutional setting which should incorporate means to institutionalise public participation. This market based preservation approach which is reflected by two case studies does not only take into account products commonly associated with a breed but recommends the use of other characteristics, providing specific services as for tourism or the environment. The support of marketing of specific products and services through the use of indigenous breeds is seen as an chance to prevent their extinction, to build institutions and to assist the development of the rural economy.

Keywords: Agricultural biological diversity, economic valuation, environmental services, institutional environment, niche products, non-market value


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Contact Address: C. Philipp Riedel, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Department for Animal Breeding in the Tropics and SubtropicsDanziger Straße 65, 10435 Berlin, Germany, e-mail: philippriedel@hotmai.com
Andreas Deininger, September 2004