Livestock in a Changing Landscape, Volume 1: Drivers, Consequences, and Responses

Livestock in a Changing Landscape, Volume 1: Drivers, Consequences, and Responses

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Livestock in a Changing Landscape, Volume 1: Drivers, Consequences, and Responses

The rapidly changing nature of animal production systems, especially increasing intensification and globalization, is playing out in complex ways around the world. Over the last century, livestock keeping evolved from a means of harnessing marginal resources to produce items for local consumption to a key component of global food chains. Livestock in a Changing Landscape offers a comprehensive examination of these important and far-reaching trends.


The books are an outgrowth of a collaborative effort involving international nongovernmental organizations including the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UN FAO), the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), the Swiss College of Agriculture (SHL), the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD), and the Scientific Committee for Problems of the Environment (SCOPE).


Volume 1 examines the forces shaping change in livestock production and management; the resulting impacts on landscapes, land use, and social systems; and potential policy and management responses.


Volume 2 explores needs and draws experience from region-specific contexts and detailed case studies. The case studies describe how drivers and consequences of change play out in specific geographical areas, and how public and private responses are shaped and implemented.


Together, the volumes present new, sustainable approaches to the challenges created by fundamental shifts in livestock management and production, and represent an essential resource for policy makers, industry managers, and academics involved with this issue.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781597266710
Publisher: Island Press
Publication date: 12/15/2009
Edition description: 1
Pages: 416
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 10.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Henning Steinfeld, chief, Livestock Information, Sector Analysis and Policy Branch, FAO.
Harold A. Mooney, professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University.
Fritz Schneider, vice director, Swiss College of Agriculture, Bern University of Applied Sciences.
Laurie E. Neville, program coordinator, Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University.
Pierre Gerber, livestock policy officer, Livestock Information, Sector Analysis and Policy Branch, FAO.
Jeroen Dijkman, livestock development officer, Pro-Poor Livestock Policy Initiative, Sector Analysis and Policy Branch, FAO.
Shirley Tarawali, director, People, Livestock, and the Environment Theme,
Cees de Haan, retired livestock development advisor; currently a consultant at World Bank.

Read an Excerpt

Livestock in a Changing Landscape, Volume 1

Drivers, Consequences, and Responses

By Henning Steinfeld, Harold A. Mooney, Fritz Schneider, Laurie E. Nevile


Copyright © 2010 Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE)
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-59726-926-1


Drivers of Change in Global Agriculture and Livestock Systemsa

Prabhu Pingali and Ellen McCullough


Over the past four decades, global agriculture has met the demand for food and nonfood products, as evidenced by growth in agricultural output and a long-term decline in commodity prices. Though prices for major commodities spiked sharply between the fall of 2007 and 2008, they returned to their pre-spike levels by early 2009 (FAO 2008a). Some evidence suggests the world may be experiencing a reversal of the sustained decline in commodity prices due to structural shifts in demand, such as rising demand for food and animal feed in emerging economies and for biofuels stock. However, the speed at which prices rose and fell indicate that the acute price crisis cannot be attributed to changing demand alone. Critical factors in the food price spike were supply shocks, especially drought in important export-oriented bread baskets, and commodity speculation, which may have been partially fueled by expectations of demand for biofuels stock. Reactionary policy measures, such as banning exports and grain hoarding, exacerbated the problem. The food crisis forced an estimated 100 million people into poverty and 70 million people into hunger (FAO 2008b, Ivanic and Martin 2008). Low income food deficit countries, such as Haiti, were hit hard by rising food import bills. Over the medium to long term, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) predict that prices for major food commodities will increase some relative to 2000 levels, but much less dramatically than what was experienced in 2008 (OECD/FAO 2008). One important outcome of the food crisis was the unprecedented media and political attention paid to the agricultural sector, which resulted in substantial financial commitments to the sector. The attention faded as prices began to fall and as the financial crisis began to unfold.

Agricultural growth has contributed to improvements in food security, poverty reduction, and overall economic growth in much of the developing world. The success in increasing agricultural production has not, however, been shared uniformly across regions and countries. Many of the least developed countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, and marginal production environments across the developing world continue to experience low or stagnant agricultural productivity, rising food deficits, and high levels of hunger and poverty. Economic development is almost always accompanied by a falling share of agriculture in GDP. Globally, the share of agriculture in total GDP has fallen from 9% in the early 1970s to 4% in recent years (World Bank 2006a). This number is considerably higher in developing countries, although it is also on the decline. Countries can be characterized by the extent to which agricultural growth has contributed to economic growth, and the extent to which the poor people in a given country depend on agriculture for income (World Bank 2008).

Agricultural economies are those in which growth in agriculture is a large contributor to GDP growth and where the majority of poor people are found in rural areas and are largely concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa. Failed states and areas of conflict are almost always marked by low per capita GDP and a high share of agriculture in the economy. Transforming economies are also characterized by rural poverty, but their economic growth no longer results predominantly from agricultural growth. Most transforming economies are found in Asia. Finally, urbanized economies are those in which the majority of poor people live in urban areas and agriculture is not a major source of economic growth. These urbanized economies are concentrated in Latin America. In agricultural economies, agricultural growth is a means of achieving both economic growth and poverty reduction. In transforming economies, agricultural growth is essential for poverty reduction but not necessarily for economic growth. In urbanized economies, there are still many opportunities for agricultural growth to contribute to poverty reduction, and there is also a compelling need to manage large labor flows out of the agricultural sector (World Bank 2008).

The process of agricultural development also occurs amidst a major organizational transformation of food systems that was well under way by the 1990s. These changes have been led by consumption trends but were reinforced by transformation in the retail sector as well as innovations in production, processing, and distribution technologies.

Drivers of Change

Four important driving forces in agriculture are together responsible for major global shifts in consumption, marketing, production, and trade: rising incomes, demographic shifts, technology in food chains, and the liberalization of trade and capital. It is not possible to tease out each driver's individual effects, so a brief introduction of the drivers will be followed by a more detailed discussion of their collective influence on food systems.

Per capita incomes have risen substantially in many parts of the developing world over the past few decades. In developing countries, per capita income growth averaged around 1% per year in the 1980s and 1990s but jumped to 3.7% between 2001 and 2005 (World Bank 2006b). East Asia has led the world with sustained per capita growth of 6% per year in real terms since the 1980s. In South Asia, growth rates have been consistently positive since the 1980s although not as spectacular. Eastern Europe and Central Asia experienced economic decline in the 1990s but have since obtained per capita growth rates of 5% per year. Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa have also experienced negative growth rates, which reversed themselves in the 1990s in Latin America and since 2000 in sub-Saharan Africa. Income growth is closely linked with higher expenditure on food items and with diet diversification out of staples (known as Bennett's law). The effect of per capita income growth on food consumption is most profound for poorer consumers who spend a large portion of their budget on food (Engel's law).

Both urbanization and rising female employment have contributed to rising incomes for many families in developing countries. Urban dwellers outnumbered rural populations for the first time in 2007 (UN 2006). Female employment has at least kept pace with population growth in developing countries since 1980 (World Bank 2006a). Female employment rates have risen substantially in Latin America, East Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa since the 1980s. As wages increase, urban consumers are willing to pay for more convenience, which frees up their time for income-earning activities or leisure. This results in a growing demand for more processed foods with shorter preparation times. Higher rates of female participation in the work force have been linked to greater demand for processed foods (Pingali 2007, Popkin 1999, Regmi and Dyck 2001).

Technological innovation in agribusiness has contributed to major organizational change in food distribution, processing, and production. Firms have responded to variability in consumer demand by developing advanced planning systems that use quantitative modeling tools (Kumar 2001). They have then used communication tools to improve the efficiency of coordination between actors along the supply chain to shorten the response time to demand fluctuations. The Universal Product Code (UPC) emerged in the 1970s from a retail industry–led initiative to standardize a system for identifying products and managing inventories (King and Venturini 2005). Since then, other initiatives for standardizing data transfer along supply chains and across the industry have followed. While innovations in information and communications technology have allowed supply chains to become more responsive, innovations in processing and transport have made products more suitable for global supply chains. Packaging innovations throughout the second half of the twentieth century continued to extend food products' shelf lives (Welch and Mitchell 2000). Meanwhile, a downward trend in transportation costs and widespread availability of atmosphere-controlled storage infrastructure has made it cost effective to transport products over longer distances. Raw materials have been engineered to meet processing standards and improve shelf life through conventional breeding, and, more recently, genetic engineering.

"Globalization" is marked by liberalization of trade and foreign direct investment in retail and in agribusiness. Trade has matched, but not outpaced, worldwide growth in food consumption. However, trade has shifted toward higher-value and more processed products and away from bulk commodities (Regmi and Dyck 2001). Foreign direct investment (FDI) in agriculture and the food industry grew substantially in Latin America and Asia between the mid-1980s and mid-1990s, although investment remained very low in sub-Saharan Africa (FAO 2004). In Asia, FDI in the food industry nearly tripled, from $750 million to $2.1 billion between 1988 and 1997. During that same period, food industry investment exploded in Latin America, from around $200 million to $3.3 billion. (Since 1997, it has been difficult to track FDI in the food industry due to changes in data reporting by the UN Conference on Trade and Development.)



The gains in world average food consumption reflect predominantly those of the developing countries, given that the industrial countries already had fairly high levels of per capita food consumption in the mid-1960s. The overall progress of developing countries has been decisively influenced by significant gains made in East Asia. Historical trends toward increased food consumption per capita as a world average and particularly in developing countries will likely continue in the near future, but at a slower rate than in the past as more and more countries approach medium to high per capita income levels. Real food prices have declined over the last 40 years, which gives even consumers whose income levels have not risen access to improved diets.

Income growth and urbanization in particular are feeding dietary diversification in many parts of the world. Per capita meat consumption in developing countries tripled between 1970 and 2002, while milk consumption increased by 50% (Steinfeld and Chilonda 2005). Dietary changes are most striking in Asia, where diets are shifting away from staples and increasingly toward livestock products, fruits and vegetables, sugar, and oils (Pingali 2007). Diets in Latin America have not changed as drastically, although meat consumption has risen in recent years. In sub-Saharan Africa, perhaps the most striking change was a rise in sugar consumption during the 1960s and 1970s (FAO 2006).

Retail and Supply Chain

Growth in the number and size of large urban centers creates opportunities for establishment of large supermarket chains, which attract foreign investments and advertising from global corporations (Pingali 2006). The proliferation of supermarkets in developing countries is one of the most widely cited elements of food system transformation. Structural transformation of the retail sector took off in central Europe, South America, and east Asia outside China in the early 1990s. The share of food retail sales by supermarkets grew from around 10% to 50 to 60% in these regions. By the mid- to late 1990s, the shares of food retail sales in Central America and Southeast Asia accounted for by supermarkets reached 30 to 50%. Starting in the late 1990s and early 2000s, substantial structural changes were taking place in eastern Europe, South Asia, and parts of Africa. Here supermarkets' share approached 5 to 10% in less than a decade, and it is growing rapidly (Reardon and Stamoulis 2006).

Organizational changes in food retail are felt throughout the food chain due to the interconnectedness of retail, distribution, packaging and processing, production, and input provision. Growing concentration is taking place at all levels, particularly in the retail and processing sectors, and private sector standards for food quality and safety are proliferating. Increasingly, exchange is arranged through the use of contracts. More large-scale retailers and manufacturers are relying on specialized procurement channels and dedicated wholesalers. Food is increasingly being "pulled" into formal sector retail outlets such as supermarkets rather than grown for sale in local markets.

The changes in agrifood systems pose particular risks for small-scale farmers, traders, processors, wholesale markets, and retailers, who are operating in a new game with new rules. There is a much greater degree of integration between producers and the output market, with a strong emphasis on standards in relation to quality and safety. For the small farmer there will be short-term difficulties to meet agroindustry standards and contractual requirements. Small processors increasingly will have to compete with larger-scale food manufacturers that can benefit from economies of scale in processing technologies. Traders and marketers in local markets are being squeezed by the growing importance of specialized procurement practices and certified products. Contracts often exclude small farmers either explicitly or in practice because of the difficulty of compliance, the scale of investment required, or the degree of management experience and sophistication needed to interact with buyers. It has been shown that small farms are increasingly becoming marginalized and that large farms are consolidating by relying on a casual, hired labor force that is predominantly female (Kritzinger et al., 2004, Reardon and Berdegué 2002).

Food Production Systems

Even though the global value of agricultural production per capita has had a yearly growth of 0.4% per year since 1971, not all regions have followed the same trend (World Bank 2006a). In sub-Saharan Africa per capita food production has not seen a sustained increase over the last four decades. South Asia has had a small increase, while East Asia and the Pacific have increased agricultural value added per capita by almost 200% over the last 45 years. We also find sharp heterogeneity not only between regions but also between countries, within regions, and even within countries. Countries with a high incidence of poverty and food insecurity are invariably those that have experienced poor agricultural performance over the past four decades.

Traditional agricultural systems are found where agriculture has a major role in a nation's economy and labor force. Typically, the systems consist of smallholder farmers producing staple crops for subsistence purposes. In modernizing agricultural systems, agriculture accounts for a smaller share of the GDP and employs a smaller portion of the labor force. In these systems, farmers grow food staples and cash crops, typically for national markets. In industrialized agricultural systems, agriculture's importance in a nation's economy and labor force are minor. Farmers produce a highly differentiated set of crops for national and international markets. Economies of scale are particularly important in industrialized agricultural systems.

The composition of the global agricultural production portfolio has changed considerably over the last 40 years. Production rates of cereals, oil crops, sugar, horticulture, eggs, and meat have increased faster than population growth rates since 1961, while production of pulses, roots, and tubers (which are important for the poor in many agriculture-based countries) has declined relative to total population. Cereals production grew rapidly during the 1960s and 1970s but has slowed since then. The vegetable oil sector is the most rapidly expanding, fueled by the growth of food consumption and imports in developing countries. Increasing demand for oil crops for nonfood uses is also a major contributor to growth in the subsector, as is the availability of ample land suitable for expanding oil crop production.

Total crop production growth was generally positive in the 40 years from 1961 to 2000, although the same cannot be said in per capita terms. Production growth per person was close to zero for much of the last 40 years in most regions, with the clear exception of South and Southeast Asia (FAO 2006). Area expansion has not been a major source of crop production growth in recent decades, except in sub-Saharan Africa. Further opportunities for area expansion are virtually exhausted except in parts of South America, Southeast Asia, and West Africa, where rural population densities are still low. Increases in cropping intensity may offer a partial solution for this constraint despite high rural population densities. This will require an expansion of irrigation, for which there is still some scope in regions where irrigation infrastructure is underdeveloped (Carruthers et al., 1997).

Yield growth is another way of achieving production growth while economizing on land. As expected, countries with high population densities tend to have high yields and cropping intensity and vice versa. A notable group of densely populated countries, including China, India, Indonesia, and Brazil, has achieved moderate to high labor productivity in addition to high land productivity. Growth in input use, such as fertilizer, tractors, and irrigation, can contribute to yield growth. Use of these inputs is leveling off worldwide, however, and is particularly low in Africa (FAO 2006).


Excerpted from Livestock in a Changing Landscape, Volume 1 by Henning Steinfeld, Harold A. Mooney, Fritz Schneider, Laurie E. Nevile. Copyright © 2010 Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE). Excerpted by permission of ISLAND PRESS.
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Table of Contents

Executive Summary
PART I. Drivers of Change
Chapter 1. Driver of Change in Global Agriculture and Livestock Systems
Chapter 2. Trends in Consumption, Production and Trade in Livestock and Livestock
Chapter 3. Structural Change in Livestock Sector
Chapter 4. Livestock in Geographical Transition
PART II. Consequences of Livestock Sector
Chapter 5. Livestock and the Global Carbon Cycle
Chapter 6. The Impact of Animal Production Systems on the Nitrogen Cycle
Chapter 7. Water-Mediated Ecological Consequences of Intensification and Expansion of Livestock Production
Chapter 8. Global Impacts on Biodiversity
Chapter 9. Impacts of Intensive Livestock Production and Manure Management on the Environment
Chapter 10. Impacts of Extensive Livestock Systems on Terrestrial Ecosystems
Chapter 11. Human Health Hazards Associated with Livestock Production
Chapter 12. The Livestock Revolution and Animal Source Food Consumption: Benefits, Risk and Challenges in Urban and Rural Setting of Developing Countries
Chapter 13. Social Consequences for Mixed Crop-Livestock Production Systems in Developing Countries
Chapter 14. Socioeconomic Implications of the Livestock Industrialization Process: How Will Smallholders Fare?
Chapter 15. Extensive Livestock Production in Transition: The Future of Sustainable Pastoralism
PART III. Responses
Chapter 16. Responses on Environmental Issues
Chapter 17. Responses on Human Nutrition Issues
Chapter 18. Responses on Emerging Livestock Diseases
Chapter 19. Responses on Social Issues
Chapter 20. Livestock in Changing Landscape: Conclusions and Lessons Learned

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