8. Economic constraints on sheep and goat production in developing countries.
In: FAO Animal Production and Health Paper No. 58, FAO, Rome, Italy; 1985, pp. 138-147
This paper discusses some economic factors that have affected the efficiency of production, documents selected cases, and offers some solutions to the problems.
Sheep and goats are important livestock species in developing countries.
Fifty-three percent of the total small-ruminant population in the developing countries is found in Asia, particularly in India and Pakistan, 33% in Africa, and 14% in Latin America.
The total product from small ruminants increased in developing countries because their numbers increased.
Sheep and goats are important in development because of their ability to convert forages and crops and household residues into meat, fibre, skins and milk. The economic importance of each of the products varies between regions, especially in the developing countries.
Goats are hardy and well-adapted to harsh climates. Due to their grazing habits and physiological characteristics, they are able to browse on plants that would normally not be eaten by other livestock species. The presence of goats in mixed species grazing systems can lead to a more efficient use of the natural resource base and add flexibility to the management of livestock. This characteristic is especially desirable in fragile environments.
Sheep and goats contribute to a broad range of production systems.
The most common production system throughout the developing countries involves either the extensive system with large herds and/or flocks grazing on arid and semi-arid rangelands or the intensive system with smaller herds and/or flocks kept in confinement, mostly in the humid tropics. Both systems are characterized by low input use.
Most of the world's sheep and goats are produced on mixed-species farms rather than in species-specific units.
Technological development studies of small-ruminant production as it relates to other farming systems have been limited. Therefore, the target, in terms of research, has to be integrated production systems rather than isolated sheep and goat components. By using a multidisciplinary research approach, the problem can be addressed in a realistic and practical way.
The problems of sheep and goat production can neither be efficiently nor successfully solved until research concentrates on studying all of the related and interrelated components involved. For too long, research has focused on one discipline at a time, ignoring the developing country's culture, environment, educational level of its producers, and the availability and dependability of local technology transfer.
It is important to know that an increase in sheep and goat activity in an integrated system could increase the total productivity of a farm through more efficient labour and available resources and generate more income per unit of time.
If developing countries could increase herd productivity, they could increase production. To increase production in developing countries, existing constraints must be overcome.
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Review, books, sheep, pigs, animal production, tropics, subtropics, CTA
GATENBY, R. and HOLNESS, D.H.
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