Why Is Production of Animal Source Foods Important for Economic Development in Africa and Asia?
Impact factor: 1.382 (Year: 2020)
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Isabelle Baltenweck, Dolapo Enahoro, Aymen Frija, Shirley Tarawali. (30/10/2020). Why Is Production of Animal Source Foods Important for Economic Development in Africa and Asia. Animal Frontiers, 10 (4), pp. 22-29.
Public debates over the economic, health, social, and environmental merits of livestock are growing increasingly acrimonious. On one hand, livestock is said to contribute to income and wealth generation, increase overall farm productivity, be a source of foreign revenues, promote women’s empowerment, and improve nutrition and health, especially for the most vulnerable. On the other hand, livestock is blamed for environmental degradation and condemned as a potential source of zoonotic disease. For its critics, small-scale livestock farming is economically unproductive, a relic to be set aside as informed consumer demand moves toward a mostly plant-based diet (and even, perhaps, plant-based meat). Overconsumption of animal source foods may also contribute to poor health outcomes (Yang et al., 2016). The current COVID-19 crisis is only amplifying these debates. The economic consequences of COVID-19 are likely to increase hunger and poverty in the developing world, even as the pandemic demonstrates how catastrophically unprepared the world is to handle zoonoses. To get clarity on this debate, we will look at the relationship between animal source foods production and economic development at the household, community, and national levels. For the purposes of this discussion, animal source foods will exclude fish, which has distinct theoretical and data issues. Our focus is on low- and middle-income countries in Africa and Asia where small- and middle-scale farmers produce most of the food. It is important to note that production of animal source foods cannot be done without considering animals being part of a broader system. Livestock functions as an asset and is indicative of household and community prestige. The paper is organized into four parts: (1) description of the links between livestock production and economic development at the national level, (2) analyzes the current relationship between livestock production and economic development, (3) details the projections for ASF demand in coming decades, and (4) discusses a pathway for meeting demand and what that means for economic development. This paper concludes by determining how the implications of these analysis can impact policy and economic investment.
- Agricultural Research Knowledge