The objective of the project is to save, protect and valorize existing populations of the Pelagonia sheep breed in the cross-border area, which are currently in danger of extinction, through coordinated synergies. The PAPESHE project through an intedisciplinary holistic approach pursues to: • record the existing situation of the Pelagonia breed in Greece and FYROM • describe the relevant research regarding the production characteristics of the breed • establish the necessary infrastructure for genetic improvement initiatives in the cross-border area (CBA) • improve the quality and hygiene of milk and dairy products from autochthonous breeds in the CBA • propose market-based strategies which will increase the incomes of sheep farmers and benefit the whole value chain of sheep farming in the CBA • convince sheep farmers about the benefits of indigenous sheep breeds and to increase public awareness towards the protection of genetic diversity • promote networking among actors in the CBA to achieve synergies in increasing the quality of farmer education.
The main outputs of PAPESHE will include: 1. A genetics laboratory, an Artificial Insemination laboratory and a nucleus farm for future experimental actions 2. A database with information about Pelagonia sheep populations in the CBA 3. Improvement of quality and hygiene of dairy products in the CBA 4. Training of farmers on best hygiene techniques for milk.
PAPESHE project will have an impact on: • farmers, who will have access to better animals and proper training • consumers, who will have access to dairy and meat products of better quality, • dairy producers and retailers, who will sell products of better quality, • tourism-related enterprises who could get involved in the short supply chain, • scientists, who will have the opportunity to develop an integrated genetic improvement program with a high potential of transferability to other areas and breeds, and • policy makers, who will receive valuable information regarding the design of efficient policies for the protection of genetic diversity and the development of sheep farming in the CBA.