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Why livestock?

Photo credit: ILRI/Stevie Mann

Livestock play a significant role in rural livelihoods and the economies of developing countries. They provide income and employment for 1.3 billion producers and others working in value chains. They are a crucial asset and safety net for the poor, especially for women and pastoralist groups, and they provide an important source of nourishment for billions of rural and urban households.

Demand for livestock products in developing countries is projected to double in the next forty years. There is a need to ensure that the smallholder sector is able to sustainably supply the livestock products required to meet the increased demand. We need a sustainable livestock “revolution in action” that combines increased productivity, income and food security from livestock systems.

To target strategies to reduce poverty and increase nutritional security, a better understanding of the future contribution of smallholder livestock farmers is needed.