Livestock Productivity in Developing Countries: An Assessment
This chapter assesses livestock productivity in the developing world in the context of growing demand for livestock products and substantial changes in the structure of food demand, commercialization of production, and growing importance of international markets. Issues related to the roles of the various partners in livestock research are also considered and modalities to ensure more effective linkage between research and development agencies to improve technology transfer and impact are discussed. The chapter starts discussing the factors affecting livestock development and how these factors interact at different stages in the process of commercialization and development of the livestock sector. This serves as the conceptual framework to analyze trends in livestock demand; structural characteristics of livestock production in developing countries; global trends in productivity, and the evolution of research and development in developing regions. Past trends show that changes in global livestock production are explained by demand and supply changes associated to economic growth mainly in East and Southeast Asia while on the other hand productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa has remained stagnated for most of the past 40 years. National research systems in developing countries have focused mostly on research in ruminants, while research in poultry production has been dominated by the private sector. Despite these research priorities in developing countries, productivity differences in poultry and pig production between high income and some of the fast growing developing countries have been reducing in the past years, while large differences in productivity still persist in the case of milk and beef production with no evidence of developing countries catching-up with most productive countries. Major improvements in livestock productivity are possible and could contribute to economic growth in developing countries, but increased investment in livestock research and a framework for international action to support livestock research and development in developing countries are needed.
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