Invest in smallholder food producers, who produce most of the world’s food

Globally, small-scale farmers and herders supply more than 40% of the world’s milk, 70% of the world’s lamb, 50% of the world’s beef, 60% of the world’s pork and 50% of the world’s poultry.

Core message


Livestock are important sources of incomes, jobs and sustenance for some three-quarters of a billion people engaged in smallholder agriculture.

A growing demand for milk, meat and eggs in many low- and middle-income countries means both the productivity and the production of smallholders must be increased.

Livestock asset transfer programs that provide live animals to poor rural households to keep and multiply over time yield well-documented and sustained benefits, including improved milk productivity, increased incomes, more diversified diets and self-reporting of improved welfare.


Support smallholder livestock producers with the policies and infrastructure needed to access critical livestock inputs and services, including improved animal breeds, feeds and veterinary services.

Invest in livestock asset transfers to help households increase their resilience, accumulate assets and reduce their poverty.

Help small- and medium-sized livestock keepers comply with increasingly stringent market standards, such as through innovative business-oriented collective action or contractual approaches to gain from economies of scale and joint capacity development.

To obviate the need of many poor households to keep surplus stock as a form of insurance and savings, a fact that can harm the environment, and to encourage livestock keepers to manage their animals for the market, provide alternative insurance/financing options such as weather-based insurance schemes and reliable savings plans.


Investments options and risk mitigation