Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

African Farmers missing out on the Global 'Livestock Revolution'

09.04.2008
African farmers are missing out on a global boom in demand for meat products because of out-of-date international regulations.

New research suggests practical options to unlock the potential of the southern African livestock industry and help millions lift themselves out of poverty through trade.

These new “win-win” options for livestock standards and market access would allow farmers to export safe, high quality products to lucrative international markets without increasing the risk of spreading animal disease, such as foot-and mouth.

The African Union is among the top level bodies preparing to make crucial decisions about the livestock sector. But practical options that respond to dynamic change in the global meat industry, market access requirements and disease control have been lacking, until now.

Ahmadu Babagana, Director for Rural Economy and Agriculture, African Union Commission said of the new research:

“If the global policy commitments to support Africa’s development are to become real, the international community must understand the potential of new product standards to increase market access for developing countries without increasing risks. This requires renewed commitments from governments and a review of international standard-setting policies.

“If this is done, huge potentials could open up for Africa, particularly southern Africa, attracting new markets and trading partners, private investment for new production technologies and the provision of ethically produced and sourced foods to niche markets. At the African Union, we see a rethink of policies towards livestock production, disease management and control and trade as central to such efforts.”

Over the past 18 months, studies in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe have investigated the economic, social and political trade-offs of different scenarios for gaining market access and controlling livestock disease. The research recommends a range of options that can be mixed and matched to support the beef industry, instead of a one-size-fits-all solution for every country.

Options for market access include: trade with the European Union; direct exports to large retailers; export to emerging markets, particularly Asia; regional trade in southern Africa and domestic urban and rural markets. They can be combined with practical disease control options and a more integrated and coordinated approach at regional level.

For example, current European-led ‘zero-tolerance’ standards insist on disease-free regions, but are too costly and impractical for poor farmers to put in place. Instead, the new research advocates options based on the safety, quality and processing of meat products. Milk, butter, cheese and deboned beef can be traded safely if processing methods are effectively regulated instead of the country’s disease status.

Over-reliance on old colonial trading networks means rapidly growing new markets are being ignored. Demand for meat products is soaring, particularly in China where annual consumption of meat has risen from an average of 20kg/person to 50kg/person since 1985. While global meat and milk production set to double by 2050, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

But massive growth in industrialised production from Brazil and China (for meat) and India (for milk), coupled with Latin America’s superior regional co-ordination and market intelligence, is far outweighing anything Africa can offer: African countries contribute just 2% of global trade in livestock products. Each year Africa imports US$2.2billion more livestock products than it exports, and this deficit is increasing.

This new research advocates a more joined-up approach, linking regional and governmental support to private sector initiatives. Africa has been poor at negotiating trade standards with international bodies such as the World Animal Health Organisation (OIE), World Trade Organisation (WTO) and European Union. A proper place at the table is needed, and needed now.

Unless changes are urgently made, southern Africa risks missing out on the opportunity to benefit from the global ‘livestock revolution’ and farmers will lose the chance to trade their way out of poverty.

“A major policy rethink is needed. If the full benefits of the ‘livestock revolution’ are to be captured in southern Africa, new responses and capacities must be developed and inappropriate and out-dated policies must be abandoned,” said research co-ordinator Professor Ian Scoones of the Institute of Development Studies, UK.

Julia Day | alfa
Further information:
http://www.steps-centre.org
http://www.steps-centre.org/ourresearch/vetscience.html

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change
17.11.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

nachricht Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>