Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Livestock in development

"The 2008 World Development Report on Agriculture surveyed 14 countries and noted that most rural households, and 40 percent of the poorest households, own livestock. The World Bank estimates that livestock are the main livelihood asset for up to 200 million pastoralists and agropastoralists in arid and semi-arid environments worldwide. Furthermore, 35 to 90 million of these people are extremely poor.

Policy and institutional changes in the livestock sector, and the growing demand for meat, milk and other livestock products, will affect poor livestock producers in many ways. This issue of id21 insights examines some of the implications and suggests how the livestock sector can focus on 'pro-poor' development."

An excellent issue of ID21 on livestock issues sent to me a while ago by D. Adresses many critical issue. Look up for example this article of pastoralism:

"There are currently academic debates about whether pastoralism is still a viable livelihood option in the Horn of Africa. Ian Scoones suggests greater commercialisation of herds is one way to strengthen pastoralist livelihoods. This seems logical, as there is a growing demand for milk and meat in the expanding urban centres of countries with pastoralist populations, as well as other countries.

However, policymakers often regard pastoralist areas as problematic, where many animals have serious diseases. This perception means that current international standards prevent trade with pastoral areas. These standards are based on the assumption that eradicating diseases from a given area or country is the only way to guarantee livestock products as safe for trade. But is this assumption correct?"

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