In September 2011, the deputy director general-research for the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), John McDermott, made a keynote presentation at the Swedish Research Network: Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry for Development (Agri4D) conference on ‘scales and diversity.’ Titled ‘Livestock production in developing countries—Globally significant and locally relevant, ‘ McDermott’s presentation begins with the global significance of livestock.
While consumption of milk, meat and eggs in industrialized countries is flattening out, McDermott says, livestock consumption per person is growing at about 1% per year in poor countries. But this growth is much more dramatic when looking at the figures in aggregate, with the total consumption of milk in developing countries essentially double that of developed countries by 2050, and consumption of meat in developing countries triple that of developed.
We forget that the biggest change in the last 20 years is not necessarily population but the redistribution of income. We’ve basically doubled the size of the middle class consumptive world. And that’s having a huge impact on consumption of livestock. . . .