This article in the journal Animal reviews the positive and negative roles of livestock in the developing world. Authored by several ILRI staff, the paper also discusses ‘key factors that are likely to determine the future contribution of the sector to food security, environmental protection and economic growth.’ It proposes actions for improving different aspects of livestock systems so that the positive roles outweigh the negatives.
The authors argue that ‘recognising the different roles played by livestock in the developing and the developed world is essential to understand the impact of livestock on livelihoods, economic development and the environment.
‘The importance of this paper lies in providing a balanced account [for] . . . the often, ill-informed or generalized discussion on the . . . roles of livestock. Only by understanding the nuances in these roles will we be able to design more sustainable solutions for the sector.
‘We are at a moment in time where our actions could be decisive for the resilience of the world food system, the environment and a billion poor people in the developing world . . . . At the same time, . . . the demand for livestock products is increasing, . . . adding additional pressures on the world natural resources.’
More analysis of these issues in this ILRI blog post: Livestock, poverty and the environment: A balancing act–and a balanced account