Broadening livestock market access for the poor

Aim
Manage food safety while safe-guarding
the livelihoods of small-scale producers and traders.

How
Obtain evidence of the comparative risks
food safety regulations present to
livestock livelihoods as well as public safety.

Why
Enable many more poor people
to profit from the dynamic growing markets
fuelled by the Livestock Revolution.

Millions of small-scale livestock producers and traders in developing countries could climb out of poverty by taking advantage of the explosive growth in demand for livestock products in developing countries. This Livestock Revolution, caused by rising populations, incomes and urbanization, has created new market opportunities for livestock products, particularly in formal domestic and export markets. Compared to traditional markets, these high-value markets provide farmers with higher prices, greater diversity of sales destinations, and more opportunities for future growth.

Participation in these markets, however, requires adherence to safe production techniques. Sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) regulations pose increasing obstacles to small-scale livestock producers seeking access to high-value livestock markets. Such regulations require, for example, that farmers maintain disease-free animals and meet increasing stringently food safety and quality standards for processed meat and other livestock products.

Small-scale players in livestock enterprises have difficulty meeting these requirements. They may lack access to production technologies required or to information about end-market demands. Poor infrastructure separates them from growing markets. And public policies in general favour large producers and market agents over small ones.

These constraints can create barriers to breaking into high-value markets. The latter are increasingly dominated by larger, vertically integrated producers with better access to technologies, management and capital. Small-scale livestock owners and sellers need pragmatic and cost-effective options that reduce these barriers.

We work on sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) issues, growing market requirements for food safety and quality that constrain market access by smallholders (including appropriate development of smallholder dairy markets).

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