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Investing in African Livestock: business opportunities in 2030-2050

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, March 1, 2013
Abstract in English: 
This paper depicts the medium to long term development prospects for the African livestock sector by reviewing data on the estimated consumption of animal-sourced foods and anticipated responses by producers for 2005/07, 2030 and 2050. Data and projections are elaborated by the FAO Global Perspective Studies Unit.
Increases in the demand for animal-sourced food are estimated extraordinarily high in Africa over the coming decades. By 2050, the meat market is projected at 34.8 million tonnes and that of milk about 82.6 million tonnes, an increase of 145 and 155 percent respectively over 2005/07 levels. More notably, over this period, Africa’s increase in volume of meat consumed will be on a par with that of the developed world and that of Latin America, with only South Asia and Southeast Asia anticipated to register higher growth. For milk, only South Asia will register stronger gains in market size than Africa. Furthermore, annual growth rates in both meat and milk consumption are projected to be higher in Africa than in other regions, with the exception of meat in South Asia (from a very low base). Within Africa, beef, milk and poultry are anticipated to provide favourable business opportunities for livestock producers, in both volume and value terms. However, market dynamics differ amongst the geographic hubs, including Western and Southern Africa; Northern and Southern Africa; and Central Africa.
Production will not keep pace with consumption. Africa is anticipated to increasingly become a net importer of animal-sourced foods. This represents a missed development opportunity, given the widespread societal benefits that inclusive growth of livestock can generate, particularly in a continent where the majority of rural dwellers depend fully or partly on livestock for their livelihoods. Consequently, investments, and policy and institutional reforms that target African livestock markets are required to ensure that the business opportunities generated by the growing demand for animal-sourced foods translate into widespread benefits for the population.
Formulating effective livestock sector policies and institutional changes require a flow of information on market conditions and on the constraints to market entry. These are rarely readily available and investments in data collection and in data collection systems should be given appropriate priority, as the basis for supportive policies and investment.2050
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