INTENSIFIED LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION AND ACHIEVING SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE AND FOOD SECURITY IN AFRICA - Descarga este documento en PDF. Documentación en PDF para descargar gratis. Disponible también para leer online.

If the viability and sustainability of smallholder agriculture is to be maintained and foodsecurity is to be enhanced in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), intensified, market-oriented livestockproduction needs to be promoted. This paper presents empirical evidence to support thiscontention.Twenty-five years ago there were half as many people in SSA as there are today andpopulation is projected to increase by 2.6 times to 1,294 million in 2050. Growing populationpressure on land in combination with traditional methods of farming (little use of moderninputs and low yielding crop varieties and low productivity breeds of livestock) lead tounsustainable practices that degrade land resources. Such practices result in low per capitafood output and inadequate income to acquire sufficient food to ensure food security formany small-scale farmers.Shifting cultivation and nomadic pastoralism were appropriate responses to ample land andscarce capital. Growing competition for land between crop and livestock farmers, limitedaccess to technology and inputs, and absence of properly functioning markets then led tomixed crop-livestock farming systems as efficient and sustainable methods of foodproduction. These traditional practices, however, are not sustainable in the face ofincreasing population pressure and do not make sufficient impact on food security. Majorchanges in the methods of production, including genetic improvement, are required.Crop improvement leads to higher yields making more food available, but does not improvefarmers' access to food much since it has little impact on incomes. When yields are up, pricesusually decline due to the low-income elasticity for cereals. Attention has to be shifted fromfood production to an emphasis on improving the purchasing power of families at risk ofmalnutrition. This can be accomplished through intensification of livestock activities, whichincrease cash incomes.More than half the population is expected to live in urban areas of SSA in 2050. Urbanisationincreases demand for food of animal origin and provides an impetus for intensified, marketorientedlivestock production such as using crossbreeding goats or cattle for dairy and/ormeat production. Theory distinguishes two types of food insecurity - chronic and transitory.Market-oriented livestock activities have potential to improve both chronic and transitoryfood insecurity by providing more food, by raising purchasing power (via higher incomesfrom sales of livestock products) and by improving the stability of both production andincome to ensure availability and access to food.

Subject(s): Agribusiness

Agricultural and Food Policy

Food Security and Poverty

Livestock Production/Industries

Issue Date: 1998

Publication Type: Conference Paper/ Presentation

PURL Identifier:

Total Pages: 15

Record appears in: Africa Farm Management Association (AFMA) > 1998 Fourth AFMA Congress, January 26-30, 1998, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Autor: Shapiro, Barry


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