Income disparities and the global distribution of intensively farmed chicken and pigs
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Gilbert, M., Conchedda, G., Van Boeckel, T.P., Cinardi, G., Linard, C., Nicolas, G.,Thanapongtharm, W., D'Aietti, L., Wint, W., Newman, S.H. and Robinson, T.P. 2015. Income disparities and the global distribution of intensively farmed chicken and pigs. PLOS ONE 10(7):e0133381.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/67883
The rapid transformation of the livestock sector in recent decades brought concerns on its impact on greenhouse gas emissions, disruptions to nitrogen and phosphorous cycles and on land use change, particularly deforestation for production of feed crops. Animal and human health are increasingly interlinked through emerging infectious diseases, zoonoses, and antimicrobial resistance. In many developing countries, the rapidity of change has also had social impacts with increased risk of marginalisation of smallholder farmers. However, both the impacts and benefits of livestock farming often differ between extensive (backyard farming mostly for home-consumption) and intensive, commercial production systems (larger herd or flock size, higher investments in inputs, a tendency towards market-orientation). A density of 10,000 chickens per km2 has different environmental, epidemiological and societal implications if these birds are raised by 1,000 individual households or in a single industrial unit. Here, we introduce a novel relationship that links the national proportion of extensively raised animals to the gross domestic product (GDP) per capita (in purchasing power parity). This relationship is modelled and used together with the global distribution of rural population to disaggregate existing 10 km resolution global maps of chicken and pig distributions into extensive and intensive systems. Our results highlight countries and regions where extensive and intensive chicken and pig production systems are most important. We discuss the sources of uncertainties, the modelling assumptions and ways in which this approach could be developed to forecast future trajectories of intensification.