Greener pastures for the livestock industry
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CTA. 1996. Greener pastures for the livestock industry. Spore 63. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/47356
seminar on Livestock development policies in the humid and sub-humid zones of sub-Saharan Africa. The seminar was held in Abidjan, Cote d'lvoire, 5-9 February 1996
When the rainy season transforms dry vegetation to fresh, green fodder, farmers know that their cattle, sheep and goats will gain weight and produce more milk. But livestock production and profitability in Africa today depend on more than a good source of feed. In the humid and sub humid zones of West and Central Africa, there have been major changes in the climate affecting animal production that have nothing to do with rainfall. The political and economic climate has changed dramatically as a result of structural adjustment, devaluation, and reduced government intervention and price control. The region is poised to take further advantage of what is already proving to be a real to producers to increase the quantity and quality of their production. Consumer demand for fresh and processed meat, for milk, eggs and processed dairy products is waiting to be satisfied. In the past, that demand has been met by imported meat, milk powder and butter oil, but cheap imports are no longer available and the region has to look to its own production capacity. Are those who decide the policies which affect livestock production sufficiently well-informed to guide the sector to 'greener pastures'? As a contribution to meeting the needs of the region, CTA sponsored and organized a seminar on Livestock development policies in the humid and sub-humid zones of sub-Saharan Africa. The seminar was held in Abidjan, Cote d'lvoire, 5-9 February 1996, and was attended by participants from 17 countries in West and Central Africa and representatives of international organizations and European countries. undervalued. If an animal is fed on food which has cost no money to obtain, and if it is consumed by the owner's family who do not have to part with money before they can eat, where is that animal going to figure in the cash columns of a national budget? Nevertheless, livestock is an integral part of a nation's economy Participants at the Abidjan seminar called for an inventory of livestock resources, production and utilization for each country and for the region as a whole. The formats and database structures should be standardized to facilitate international comparisons and exchange of information. Such information, coupled with regional cooperation to reduce delays and difficulties at border crossings, should lead to better trading conditions and to a more sustainable and productive use of land resources.