Competition between ranchers and farmers in Africa can end with intensive livestock farming

Livestock production systems are broadly categorised into

grassland-based’ pastoralism and ranching

mixed-farming’, either rainfed or irrigated, and

landless’, mainly pig and poultry production systems.

%name Competition between ranchers and farmers in Africa can end with intensive livestock farming

These are listed in order of increasing intensity. The ‘landless’ production systems are largely responsible for the rapid growth in average meat supply per person in the developing countries, poultry production having doubled over the last 10 years. Reproduction and growth rates are faster in pigs and poultry than in the ruminant species of livestock.

Yields per head of these species and of cattle, in developing countries, are well below those in developed countries. Increases depend upon improvements in animal health, nutrition, breeding and management.

%name Competition between ranchers and farmers in Africa can end with intensive livestock farming

Mixed crop-livestock production systems are important as the source of the bulk of ruminant livestock production and the home of the majority of the world’s poor. Complementary relationships exist with livestock, fed on crop by-products and other plant material, contributing draught power, manure, additional sources of food and income, savings and buffer against risk. As intensity and livestock numbers rise, crop- livestock interactions become increasingly competitive, for the use of land and other resources. There is little, or no, interaction between crops and supplementary, landless livestock systems.
Landless livestock systems provide most of the world’s production of pig and poultry

The majority is produced in developed countries and from large-scale commercial enterprises, now spreading in the developing countries. These products make up two thirds of all meat production world-wide, while, in the developing countries, poultry meat now accounts for more than half of all meat produced.

Analysts have suggested that production systems intensify and evolve, from pastoral livestock keeping to specialist crop production, then to mixed farming and eventually to independent crop and ‘landless’ livestock systems. 

 

Presented by Romano Pisciotti

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