3. Important issues of small-holder livestock sector worldwide.
Sustainable Agriculture, 3, 1, 1991, p. 5
Heifer Project International listed a comparison of important issues of the livestock world around the world.
Developing national and international policies which stress the importance that small scale farmer play in agriculture and environmental balance is important. Often, economies of scale are applied to agricultural situations leading to production efficiency at the expense of the environment, animal health and welfare of small farmers. Greater value must be placed on animals and crops raised by small scale producers to avoid monopolization of agriculture, increase agricultural diversity and keep rural populations viable.
The overriding issue listed was how are animals fed and cared for.
In non-industrialized countries, the concern for animals is more along the lines of how does one keep an animal fed during the lean months.
Farmer based technology such as agroforestry techniques, fodder banks, development of vegetative erosion control barriers, utilization of crop wastes, increased planting of leguminous trees and pasture crops are techniques that are readily adaptable. Farmers easily see how livestock and the land benefit from establishment of year-round reliable feed sources.
The most successful operations in non-industrialized countries are those that utilize livestock as waste converters. Ruminants, with their ability to digest cellulose, are especially suited to this task. Animals can be useful in using those things that are waste or inedible for humans and convert it into human food.
Finally a system that involves people, land, plants and animals is the paradigm for animal agricultural development for the 90s.
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Review, book, developing countries, arid zone, semi-arid zone, tropics, small ruminant production, sheep, goats, breeding, nutrition, management, feeds, FAO
TIMON, V.M. and J.P. HANRAHAN
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