Theme 3: Livestock--Oral Sessions

Description

Livestock production is central to the livelihoods of a billion poor people. Transforming livestock production would have transformative effects on local economies in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Development efforts in the livestock sector have tended to be top-down without enough feedback loops to understand farmer realities and aspirations. This, despite the Farmer First movement that began in the 1990s. The Feed Assessment Tool (FEAST) was developed as a reaction to top down livestock feed development approaches. FEAST facilitates a structured conversation with farming communities about their livestock production system and how it connects with the overall farming system. FEAST involves both individual farmer interviews and focus group discussions (FGD’s). The final element of each FGD is a conversation with farmers on problems and opportunities for their livestock enterprise. Farmers are asked to name the issues which most limit their livestock enterprise and to rank them using a pair-wise ranking approach. The purpose of this exercise is to make sure that any following development activities consider the issues that really matter to farmers whether they be feed issues or other issues. FEAST has been applied in over a dozen countries and the many published reports provide a global overview of the main issues facing poor livestock keepers who are seeking to enhance their livestock enterprise. In this paper I will provide a global overview of livestock constraints based on over 150 focus group discussions involving over one thousand farmers from various countries in SSA and South Asia.

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What Are the Main Limits to Smallholder Livestock Production in the Tropics – According to Farmers?

Livestock production is central to the livelihoods of a billion poor people. Transforming livestock production would have transformative effects on local economies in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Development efforts in the livestock sector have tended to be top-down without enough feedback loops to understand farmer realities and aspirations. This, despite the Farmer First movement that began in the 1990s. The Feed Assessment Tool (FEAST) was developed as a reaction to top down livestock feed development approaches. FEAST facilitates a structured conversation with farming communities about their livestock production system and how it connects with the overall farming system. FEAST involves both individual farmer interviews and focus group discussions (FGD’s). The final element of each FGD is a conversation with farmers on problems and opportunities for their livestock enterprise. Farmers are asked to name the issues which most limit their livestock enterprise and to rank them using a pair-wise ranking approach. The purpose of this exercise is to make sure that any following development activities consider the issues that really matter to farmers whether they be feed issues or other issues. FEAST has been applied in over a dozen countries and the many published reports provide a global overview of the main issues facing poor livestock keepers who are seeking to enhance their livestock enterprise. In this paper I will provide a global overview of livestock constraints based on over 150 focus group discussions involving over one thousand farmers from various countries in SSA and South Asia.