Writing in the November 2014 issue of Rural 21, Isabelle Baltenweck argues that the growing global demand for animal products also offers poor livestock keepers the opportunity to switch from the subsistence to the market economy.
She introduces three approaches in the meat and dairy sector in Africa and Asia with their respective potentials and limitations – and also warns against possible negative effects.
She concludes: “There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to link livestock keepers to the market in a manner that is inclusive and sustainable. Women’s and men’s needs have to be taken into account for a value chain transformation to happen. There are still many unknowns, in particular regarding the effect of increased market orientation on the household nutritional status. In fact, the effect can be negative when more livestock products (like milk) are sold rather than consumed at home, extra income is spent on items not beneficial to children health and nutrition, and women’s workload increases and less time is available to care for their children. Concerted efforts by researchers, development partners, public and the private sector are needed for inclusive value chains to become a reality so that poor livestock keepers can take advantage of the Livestock Revolution to improve their livelihoods in a sustainable manner.”