The CGIAR Research Program on Livestock will seize opportunities presented by rapid increases in demand for animal-source food in developing countries.
The current suppliers of these foods are mostly millions of smallholder farmers, pastoralists and agro-pastoralists, together with the value chain actors who trade, process and deliver products to consumers. The program will provide research-based solutions to drive their transition to sustainable, resilient livelihoods and to productive small-scale enterprises that will help feed future generations. This will open up new business and income-earning opportunities in auxiliary services and sub-sectors. It will also improve local and global food and nutritional security and reduce poverty among poor households who keep livestock or contribute to livestock commodity systems, and enhance the environmental benefits these evolving smallholder-based systems can offer.
Why research on livestock in developing countries?
Livestock is the world’s fastest-growing highest-value agricultural sub-sector. It already accounts for about 40% of agricultural GDP globally, often much more in many developing countries. A key trend is the fast-growing demand for animal-source food in consumer food baskets in the developing world as incomes rise. This is set to continue in coming decades, and will be pervasive across all livestock commodities and all developing countries.
Shamsa Kosar, a beneficiary of Takaful insurance in Wajir Credit: Riccardo Gangali
By 2050 milk consumption is likely to triple in east Africa, while the consumption of monogastric foods (pork and poultry meat and eggs) will increase at least four-fold depending on sub-region (Herrero et al. 2014). To date, the limited growth response of livestock production in developing countries is mainly due to the increasing numbers of animals reared by small-scale producers rather than improvements in productivity. This trend is not sustainable because of the pressure it places on natural resources.
Strengthening capacity of Ugandan veterinarians:
Report from a training for "Pig Herd Health Champions"
The demand for pork is increasing rapidly in Uganda and many small-holders starts to raise pigs. However, the productivity is low and the experience and knowledge among supporting veterinarians and other extension personal is limited as this is a new kind of business for many of the farmers. Within the CGIAR Research Program on Livestock, the SLU professors Magdalena Jacobson and Ulf Magnusson therefore arranged a two weeks course for 5 Ugandan veterinarians here at SLU in March. The course included lectures, discussions, practical exercises and study visits to Swedish pig farms and engaged about a dozen Swedish expertise.
Read the full report "Pig herd health champions" here.