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Taking the long livestock view
               Jimmy Smith, Director General
         International Livestock Research Institute

   Third Stakeholder Meeting of the Global Agenda of Action
     for Sustainable Livestock Sector Development, Nairobi
                        22 January 2013
Long before recorded history, people depended on animals for their survival.
Some seven to nine
thousand years ago,
people domesticated
large herbivores.
Evidence suggests
that cattle domestication
occurred in Africa . . .
. . . as well as
Mesopotamia (Iraq)
and the Indus Valley
(Pakistan).
This animal domestication helped bring about the agricultural revolution.
Only during the last
century did
perceptions of the
benefits of animals
begin to diverge

People in more
developed regions
of the world began
separating from the
animals they raised.

This is reflected in
‘factory farms’ of
industrialized and
industrializing parts
of the world
But people in less
developed regions
(mostly the South −
especially in Africa and
Asia) maintained close
relations with their
domesticated animals,
which shared their
farm compounds
and scarce resources

. . . to support their
livelihoods.
Thus, today perspectives on the
value of livestock diverge,
depending on whether people

(1)Are poor or rich

(2)Eat too little or too much

(3)Live with or away from livestock
For those who live with
and depend on livestock:

• Livestock production and marketing
remain essential to 1 billion people.

• 80% of the world’s livestock foods
are generated on small farms, mostly those
mixing animal raising with crop growing,
and sold in informal markets.

• 80% of Africa’s poor keep livestock,
which contribute at least one-third
of their annual income as well as
other benefits (food, manure, traction).

• Livestock are central to the lives and
well-being of developing-country
women, children and households.

• Women livestock producers,
processors and sellers are essential
to developing-country economies.
While domesticated animals remain highly valued in poor countries,
it is companion animals that are increasingly revered in wealthier
countries or segments of society today.

•World pet food sales are roughly US$72 billion annually
•and growing at a rate of 4% annually in the United States
•and at 11−12% annually in eastern Europe and Latin America.

•62% of all households in the U.S. own a pet animal
•including 78 million dogs and 86 million cats
•costing their owners on average US$800 per animal per year.
As animals for food became
divorced from animals
for companionship
in the U.S. and other
rich countries,

and have begun to be
similarly divorced
in urban areas of fast-
developing countries,

it is livestock
that remain important
to poor communities.
Now there is an
added source of tension
between those who
can over-consume
livestock and other foods
and those who cannot.

For many who have
escaped poverty,
environmental issues
in the livestock sector
are now paramount.

For those who remain
in absolute poverty,
what is paramount is
getting enough to eat,
making a living,
staying healthy.
So for those
now divorced
from livestock,
the narrative is:

If we want to save
the planet,
we should get rid
of the livestock . . .


And to
preserve our health,
we should
stop eating meat . . .
But the on-going demand-led ‘livestock revolution’ happened fast.
Green & equitable policies / incentives haven’t caught up with livestock practices.

The livestock revolution of the South may slow but it will not stop. Some estimates
show that demand for livestock foods will rise more than 100% in the next 30 years
(poultry by 170% in Africa).
Our livestock-
related ills are
largely the result
of public sector
neglect.

We CAN grow the
livestock sector
in poor countries in
ways that are

•Green
•Equitable
•Sustainable
•Profitable
What can be done?




  Those of us working in livestock for development
can ensure that we approach livestock development
      as a transitory pathway out of poverty.

  And we can, and must, support many poor people
in exiting the livestock sector in the coming decades.
RESEARCH CAN HELP
Research on the transition of livestock systems can:

• Address future as well as current food needs –understand better growth trajectories
                  • Exploit a diversity of starting points and solutions
                      • Work explicitly toward ‘inclusive growth’
                          that is both sustainable and equitable
Research on biophysical matters can:

 • Increase productivity via better livestock feeds, breeds, health
           • Enhance the efficiency of animal production
       • Improve control of livestock and zoonotic diseases
        • Manage trade-offs in livestock vs human nutrition
• Find practical and equitable solutions to environmental problems
Research on institutional matters can:

• Create incentives for environmental stewardship
   • Build market and service provision models
        • Build business enterprise models
• Provide evidence to guide livestock investments
Our concern for
the environment




needn’t override




 our concern for
the world’s poor.
Livestock are not the most important
factor in developing-world agriculture.
People are.
For ten thousand years, livestock have mattered to people.
 They’ll almost certainly matter for a few thousand more.




         ILRI is delighted to be working with you,
               working towards convergence,
               and getting traction this week,
           on livestock futures that benefit all.
Thank you.

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Taking the long livestock view

  • 1. Taking the long livestock view Jimmy Smith, Director General International Livestock Research Institute Third Stakeholder Meeting of the Global Agenda of Action for Sustainable Livestock Sector Development, Nairobi 22 January 2013
  • 2. Long before recorded history, people depended on animals for their survival.
  • 3. Some seven to nine thousand years ago, people domesticated large herbivores.
  • 4. Evidence suggests that cattle domestication occurred in Africa . . .
  • 5. . . . as well as Mesopotamia (Iraq) and the Indus Valley (Pakistan).
  • 6. This animal domestication helped bring about the agricultural revolution.
  • 7. Only during the last century did perceptions of the benefits of animals begin to diverge People in more developed regions of the world began separating from the animals they raised. This is reflected in ‘factory farms’ of industrialized and industrializing parts of the world
  • 8. But people in less developed regions (mostly the South − especially in Africa and Asia) maintained close relations with their domesticated animals, which shared their farm compounds and scarce resources . . . to support their livelihoods.
  • 9. Thus, today perspectives on the value of livestock diverge, depending on whether people (1)Are poor or rich (2)Eat too little or too much (3)Live with or away from livestock
  • 10. For those who live with and depend on livestock: • Livestock production and marketing remain essential to 1 billion people. • 80% of the world’s livestock foods are generated on small farms, mostly those mixing animal raising with crop growing, and sold in informal markets. • 80% of Africa’s poor keep livestock, which contribute at least one-third of their annual income as well as other benefits (food, manure, traction). • Livestock are central to the lives and well-being of developing-country women, children and households. • Women livestock producers, processors and sellers are essential to developing-country economies.
  • 11. While domesticated animals remain highly valued in poor countries, it is companion animals that are increasingly revered in wealthier countries or segments of society today. •World pet food sales are roughly US$72 billion annually •and growing at a rate of 4% annually in the United States •and at 11−12% annually in eastern Europe and Latin America. •62% of all households in the U.S. own a pet animal •including 78 million dogs and 86 million cats •costing their owners on average US$800 per animal per year.
  • 12. As animals for food became divorced from animals for companionship in the U.S. and other rich countries, and have begun to be similarly divorced in urban areas of fast- developing countries, it is livestock that remain important to poor communities.
  • 13. Now there is an added source of tension between those who can over-consume livestock and other foods and those who cannot. For many who have escaped poverty, environmental issues in the livestock sector are now paramount. For those who remain in absolute poverty, what is paramount is getting enough to eat, making a living, staying healthy.
  • 14. So for those now divorced from livestock, the narrative is: If we want to save the planet, we should get rid of the livestock . . . And to preserve our health, we should stop eating meat . . .
  • 15. But the on-going demand-led ‘livestock revolution’ happened fast. Green & equitable policies / incentives haven’t caught up with livestock practices. The livestock revolution of the South may slow but it will not stop. Some estimates show that demand for livestock foods will rise more than 100% in the next 30 years (poultry by 170% in Africa).
  • 16. Our livestock- related ills are largely the result of public sector neglect. We CAN grow the livestock sector in poor countries in ways that are •Green •Equitable •Sustainable •Profitable
  • 17. What can be done? Those of us working in livestock for development can ensure that we approach livestock development as a transitory pathway out of poverty. And we can, and must, support many poor people in exiting the livestock sector in the coming decades.
  • 19. Research on the transition of livestock systems can: • Address future as well as current food needs –understand better growth trajectories • Exploit a diversity of starting points and solutions • Work explicitly toward ‘inclusive growth’ that is both sustainable and equitable
  • 20. Research on biophysical matters can: • Increase productivity via better livestock feeds, breeds, health • Enhance the efficiency of animal production • Improve control of livestock and zoonotic diseases • Manage trade-offs in livestock vs human nutrition • Find practical and equitable solutions to environmental problems
  • 21. Research on institutional matters can: • Create incentives for environmental stewardship • Build market and service provision models • Build business enterprise models • Provide evidence to guide livestock investments
  • 22. Our concern for the environment needn’t override our concern for the world’s poor.
  • 23. Livestock are not the most important factor in developing-world agriculture.
  • 25. For ten thousand years, livestock have mattered to people. They’ll almost certainly matter for a few thousand more. ILRI is delighted to be working with you, working towards convergence, and getting traction this week, on livestock futures that benefit all.

Editor's Notes

  1. THE PAST PRE-HISTORIC AFRICA Long before recorded history, people depended on animals for their survival.  
  2. THE PAST PRE-HISTRIC AFRICA Ten to fifteen thousand years ago, people domesticated large herbivores.  
  3. THE PAST PRE-HISTRIC AFRICA This domestication occurred in Africa . . .  
  4. THE PAST PRE-HISTRIC AFRICA . . . as well as Mesopotamia.  
  5. THE PAST EARLY CIVILIZATION (EGYPTIAN)   This animal domestication helped bring about the agricultural revolution.
  6. THE PAST Historical Persian, Egyptian, Chinese, Indian, Greek and Roman cultures were all made possible by animal as well as crop agriculture.  
  7. THE PAST Historical Persian, Egyptian, Chinese, Indian, Greek and Roman cultures were all made possible by animal as well as crop agriculture.  
  8. THE PAST Historical Persian, Egyptian, Chinese, Indian, Greek and Roman cultures were all made possible by animal as well as crop agriculture.  
  9. THE PAST Historical Persian, Egyptian, Chinese, Indian, Greek and Roman cultures were all made possible by animal as well as crop agriculture.  
  10. THE PAST Historical Persian, Egyptian, Chinese, Indian, Greek and Roman cultures were all made possible by animal as well as crop agriculture.  
  11. THE PAST EARLY CIVILIZATION (MESOPOTAMIAN)   Livestock offered an insurance against disaster . . .
  12. THE PAST Historical Persian, Egyptian, Chinese, Indian, Greek and Roman cultures were all made possible by animal as well as crop agriculture.  
  13. THE PAST Historical Persian, Egyptian, Chinese, Indian, Greek and Roman cultures were all made possible by animal as well as crop agriculture.  
  14. THE PAST Historical Persian, Egyptian, Chinese, Indian, Greek and Roman cultures were all made possible by animal as well as crop agriculture.  
  15. THE PAST Historical Persian, Egyptian, Chinese, Indian, Greek and Roman cultures were all made possible by animal as well as crop agriculture.  
  16. THE PAST Historical Persian, Egyptian, Chinese, Indian, Greek and Roman cultures were all made possible by animal as well as crop agriculture.  
  17. THE PAST Historical Persian, Egyptian, Chinese, Indian, Greek and Roman cultures were all made possible by animal as well as crop agriculture.  
  18. THE PAST Historical Persian, Egyptian, Chinese, Indian, Greek and Roman cultures were all made possible by animal as well as crop agriculture.  
  19. THE PAST Historical Persian, Egyptian, Chinese, Indian, Greek and Roman cultures were all made possible by animal as well as crop agriculture.  
  20. THE PAST Historical Persian, Egyptian, Chinese, Indian, Greek and Roman cultures were all made possible by animal as well as crop agriculture.  
  21. THE PAST Historical Persian, Egyptian, Chinese, Indian, Greek and Roman cultures were all made possible by animal as well as crop agriculture.  
  22. THE PAST Historical Persian, Egyptian, Chinese, Indian, Greek and Roman cultures were all made possible by animal as well as crop agriculture.  
  23. THE PAST Historical Persian, Egyptian, Chinese, Indian, Greek and Roman cultures were all made possible by animal as well as crop agriculture.  
  24. THE PAST Historical Persian, Egyptian, Chinese, Indian, Greek and Roman cultures were all made possible by animal as well as crop agriculture.  
  25. THE PAST Historical Persian, Egyptian, Chinese, Indian, Greek and Roman cultures were all made possible by animal as well as crop agriculture.