Perspective of research on ovine reproduction in Latin America within the framework of the present productive tendencies
World sheep production is undergoing important changes. In Latin America –and mainly due to decrements in international wool prices– ovine population declined and other sheep products are either appearing or increasing in importance. “Specialties” rather than “commodities” increasingly dominate markets. Productive systems have to adapt to this new reality. That is to say, processed meat or dairy products, rather than simple mutton production, is the prevailing trend. Latin-American research in ovine reproduction has improved both quantitatively and qualitatively since the end of the 80´s, but regional coordination on research policies does not exist. Approximately 10% of the indexed scientific articles dealing with ovine reproduction during the 90´s came from Latin America. According to new productive needs, we propose to priorize research on the following topics: mating period control, in such a way that lamb production becomes independent from seasons; increase in prolificacy; factors determining early embryo viability; postpartum management; semen freezing and improving both intra-uterine insemination and embryo transfer techniques.