In June 1994 a group of Latin American geneticists met in Venezuela to discuss the current state of knowledge and priorities for research in the genetic improvement of dual purpose populations. The group also included specialists in the fields of economics, extensionand production systems, so that the views of the geneticists were constantly confronted with the practical realities of the field. This paper summarizes the conclusions and recommendations of the group. The bibliography provides a list of key references which cover the majority of the scientific evidence upon which the conclusions are based. The two mainconclusions arrived at concerned education and information dissemination: i) an unacceptably wide gap exists between current knowledge on genetic (as well as other) aspects of dual purpose cattle and the teaching curricula of most institutions of higher education in the region. There is an urgent need to introduce up-to-date information on this topic into the education system at all levels. ü) A serious effort should be made regionally to increase the number and quality of scientific and extension publications in this area, and to encourage the exchange of information between research workers.