Economic Opportunity

Driving inclusive growth

Photo Credit: ILRI/Zerihun Sewunet

Globally, livestock contribute about 40% of agricultural GDP and provide livelihoods and incomes for at least 1.3 billion people worldwide. However, despite its economic importance, livestock receive just a small fraction of official development assistance to all of agriculture. With more investment, livestock production can be the economic driver for millions throughout the developing world.

Contributions to the economy:

Livestock play an important and fast-growing economic role in the global agricultural economy, contributing 40% of agricultural GDP globally and 5% of total GDP. In spite of this, only 2.5% of total agricultural official development assistance goes to livestock.

Livestock investments:

There is significant public under-investment in livestock compared to its importance for economies.

Market and trade opportunities:

The demand for livestock products is projected to double in the next 40 years, offering huge opportunities for more than a billion people who rely on the livestock industry for their livelihoods.

Smallholders and livelihoods:

Smallholders are significant suppliers of livestock products globally, including more than 40% of milk, 70% of lamb, 50% of beef, 60% of pork and 50% of poultry. This is an important source of income, jobs and sustenance for nearly three-quarters of a billion people engaged in smallholder agriculture.

Employment and incomes:

Globally, the livestock sector is as an important source of jobs, providing livelihoods and incomes for at least 1.3 billion people. Livestock keeping is one of very few livelihood options in challenging settings such as drylands: Nearly 200 million pastoralists produce food and generate incomes where crop farming is limited, risky or impossible.

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