Recognizing women pastoralists as guardians of local animal breedsListen /
Hardy, strong, adaptable to local conditions and easy to care for: these are some of the traits that small livestock farmers value in their animals.
But some farmers are being urged to abandon indigenous chickens, goats, sheep, pigs and other animals for high-performing hybrid breeds such as Holstein-Friesian cows, the world's leading milk producers.
Women comprise the majority of the world's 600 million poor livestock keepers, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
And a recent FAO study argues that they are crucial to halting the decline in local breeds, thus preserving livestock diversity and rural food security.
Dianne Penn spoke to the report's author, Ilse Köhler-Rollefson, who's with the NGO League for Pastoral Peoples and a consultant to FAO.