Livestock out of balance: From asset to liability in the course of the livestock revolution. Discussion paper

To prevent the mass exodus of small-scale farmers and pastoralists, governments and development professionals need to provide a level playing field for these producers and help them avoid the debt trap.
This study by LPP member Evelyn Mathias investigates the impact of the Livestock Revolution on farmers.The results provide some major food for thought. They do suggest that livestock has turned in many cases from an asset into a liability, since farmers and livestock keepers, in order to remain competitive, are drawn into a debt trap, because of high initial investments on one side, and because they are squeezed between escalating input prices and the consolidated power of the food processors and supermarket chains on the other.
Due to the financial squeeze many farmers find themselves in a position that “forces them to cut costs wherever they can, and creates strong incentives to unethical behaviour.” This observation would seem crucial with respect to current concerns and initiatives to structure and channel the global livestock sector onto a more sustainable track.

  • Title: Livestock out of balance: From asset to liability in the course of the livestock revolution. Discussion paper
  • Author: Evelyn Mathias / League for Pastoral Peoples and Endogenous Livestock Development / 2012
  • Description: To prevent the mass exodus of small-scale farmers and pastoralists, governments and development professionals need to provide a level playing field for these producers and help them avoid the debt trap
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  • Pages: 38

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    Investing in livestock futures

    This flyer introduces the approaches promoted and used by LPP to strengthen the position of small-scale livestock keepers: Biocultural Protocols, Livestock Keepers’ Rights and an innovative approach to marketing the products of local breeds.

  • Title: Investing in livestock futures
  • Author: LPP / League for Pastoral Peoples and Endogenous Livestock Development / 2012
  • Description: This flyer introduces the approaches promoted and used by LPP to strengthen the position of small-scale livestock keepers: Biocultural Protocols, Livestock Keepers' Rights and an innovative approach to marketing the products of local breeds.
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  • Pages: 2

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    Marketing products from local livestock breeds: An analysis of eight cases

    Local breeds and minor species are hardy and able to thrive in harsh conditions. Their adaptive traits and unique characteristics (coloured wool or hides, extra-fine fibre, meat or milk with special tastes) offer opportunities for the marketing of speciality products and sustainable food production in marginal areas.
    This study discusses eight initiatives from Africa, Asia and Latin America that help communities to produce and market various products for niche markets: milk and dairy products from dromedaries; cashmere, wool and handicrafts from goats, sheep and Bactrian camels; and meat, meat products and handicrafts from goats and sheep.
    The main strategies were to seek new markets for existing or entirely new products (rather than trying to exploit existing markets). Most initiatives had some form of branding or labelling, and two had protected their products with geographical indications.
    Such marketing initiatives can be started with limited capital inputs but are skill and knowledge intensive. They require strong commitment to overcome seasonal fluctuations in production, the lack of infrastructure and services, and difficulties in institution building. But when well planned and carefully managed, they can help conserve breeds as well as provide a livelihood for people involved in the value chain, allowing actors earlier in the value chain – livestock keepers and small-scale processors – to capture a greater share of the value of the end product than they would by trying to serve a mass market.

    http://www.fao.org/3/i1823t/i1823t07.pdf

  • Title: Marketing products from local livestock breeds: An analysis of eight cases
  • Author: Evelyn Mathias, Paul Mundy and Ilse Köhler-Rollefson / Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations / 2010
  • Description: Local breeds and minor species are hardy and able to thrive in harsh conditions
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  • Pages: 14

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    Donner de la valeur ajoutée à la diversité du bétail pour promouvoir les races locales et améliorer les moyens d’existence

    Partie 1: La laine et le cachemire
    Partie 2: La viande et les peaux
    Partie 3: Le lait
    Partie 4: Analyse
    De nombreuses races locales et espèces mineures de bétail sont en déclin et peuvent être perdues parce qu’elles ne peuvent pas faire face à la concurrence des races exotiques plus rentables. Il est important de conserver ces races: nombre d’entre elles ont des traits uniques comme par exemple la robustesse et la résistance aux maladies, toutes choses qui sont essentielles pour l’avenir de la production du bétail. Une voie pour aider à assurer leur survie peut consister à vendre les produits de ces races sur des marchés spécialisés à haute valeur.
    Le Plan d’Action Mondial pour les Ressources Zoogénétiques reconnaît l’importance de l’accès au marché pour une utilisation durable de la diversité du bétail et lance un appel pour le développement de marchés pour les produits dérivés des espèces et races locales et pour le renforcement de processus susceptibles de donner de la valeur ajoutée à leurs produits.
    La présente publication décrit huit exemples de commercialisation de produits du bétail (laine, cachemire, lait, viande et peaux) tirés de races locales de chameaux bactriens, de dromadaires, de chèvres et de moutons dans sept pays d’Afrique, d’Asie et d’Amérique Latine. Elle montre avec ces exemples, comment on a maintenu l’utilisation des races locales, tout en permettant aux petits éleveurs et aux pasteurs de continuer à les élever pour améliorer leurs moyens d’existence.

  • Title:
  • Author: Evelyn Mathias and Paul Mundy / Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations / 2010
  • Description: De nombreuses races locales et espèces mineures de bétail sont en déclin et peuvent être perdues parce qu’elles ne peuvent pas faire face à la concurrence des races exotiques plus rentables
  • Format: Zip
  • Pages: 160

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    Adding value to livestock diversity: Marketing to promote local breeds and improve livelihoods

    Part 1: Wool and cashmere
    Part 2: Meat and hides
    Part 3: Milk
    Part 4: Analysis
    Many local livestock breeds and minor species are in decline and may be lost because they cannot compete with high-yielding exotic breeds. Conserving these breeds is important: many have unique traits, such as hardiness and disease resistance, that are vital for future livestock production. One way to help ensure their survival may be to sell products from these breeds to high-value, specialist markets.
    The Global Plan of Action for Animal Genetic Resources acknowledges the importance of market access to the sustainable use of livestock diversity and calls for development of markets for products derived from local species and breeds, and for strengthening processes that add value to their products.
    This publication describes eight examples of marketing of livestock products (wool, cashmere, milk, meat and hides) from local breeds of Bactrian camels, dromedaries, goats and sheep in seven countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. It shows how they have kept local breeds in use, while enabling the small-scale livestock keepers and pastoralists who raise them to improve their livelihoods.

    http://www.fao.org/3/i1283e/i1283e00.htm

  • Title: Adding value to livestock diversity: Marketing to promote local breeds and improve livelihoods
  • Author: Evelyn Mathias and Paul Mundy / Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations / 2010
  • Description: Many local livestock breeds and minor species are in decline and may be lost because they cannot compete with high-yielding exotic breeds
  • Format: Zip
  • Pages: 158

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