Case Study 5: Increased Prolificacy in Domestic Sheep
Principal Investigators: IS: Elisha Gootwine (Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Center); US: Dave Thompson (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Goal: To increase prolificacy and lamb production in domestic sheep breeds.
Activities: Introgression of the Booroola sheep fecundity mutation by crossbreeding to the Awassi and the Assaf breeds in Israel and the Rambouillet breed in the US.
Outcomes: Introgression resulted in two new prolific strains, the Afec Awassi and the Afec Assaf. With an average annual increase of 0.6 live births per ewe, the Afec Awassi has been successfully integrated into the Bedouin sector under intensive management. This has led to improvements in flock productivity and economic gains, as well as additional social benefits to the community such as increased literacy through documentation and tighter collaboration with veterinary services.
Economic Benefit: Net Present Value of BARD’s investment is estimated at $204 million, thereof $76 million already attained. Internal Rate of Return is 18%. Benefit-Cost Ratio is 65, thereof 25 already attained.
Capacity Building: 4 postgraduates were involved in the research projects supported by the 3 BARD awards between 1985 and 1993. Currently, 3 of them hold research positions in US academia and agricultural research stations.