Global Livestock Production Systems

Core message

This book has grown out of a long-standing collaboration between the Food and
Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and the International Livestock
Research Institute (ILRI). It emerged from a meeting of international organizations held at
the Earth Institute at Columbia University in 2004, at which FAO and the Consultative Group
in International Agricultural Research were charged with closing a gap in our understand
ing of the distribution of agricultural production systems. The book took further shape
following a workshop convened by FAO in Bangkok in 2006, during which the custodians of
many of the key datasets needed to produce maps of global livestock production systems
were brought together with experts and researchers in agricultural production systems.
It brings together the results of several years’ of activity by FAO and ILRI, along with col
leagues from the International Food Policy Research Institute, the International Institute for
Applied Systems Analysis and many other organisations not explicitly linked to the produc
tion of the book.
The book provides a stock-take of where we are with livestock system classification. It
presents the most up to date maps of global livestock production systems and provides
revised estimates of the number of poor livestock keepers, globally, within the different
production systems. It proposes alternative approaches to mapping production systems
that are explicitly linked to livelihoods, and reviews the ways in which intensive production
can be accounted for. Several examples are presented of how systems’ information can be
of value. It also underscores the areas that need further development. The FAO and ILRI
continue to work jointly on several of these.

Full citation

Robinson, T.P., Thornton, P.K., Franceschini, G., Kruska, R.L., Chiozza, F., Notenbaert, A., Cecchi, G., Herrero, M., Epprecht, M., Fritz, W., You, L., Conchedda, G., and See, L. 2011. Global Livestock Production Systems. Rome: FAO and Nairobi: ILRI.