This paper examines the role of livestock products as commodities of
trade, responding to the demand and higher prices that many external
markets offer, and at the same time providing important contributions to
the development process in poorer countries. It highlights that this
opportunity is not without its threats: much of the Western world has,
over the last half century in particular, invested substantial amounts
of money in controlling and eradicating many infectious diseases of
livestock, and in building up healthy and highly productive animals, the
products derived from which earn them very large sums of money on world
markets. Such countries are not willing to take risks that could
threaten their livestock industries, and their domestic and export
markets that maintain high animal health and food safety standards.
The study builds on a number of 'success stories', examples where
developing countries have succeeded in exporting livestock or livestock
products to external markets. An analysis of the factors governing their
success revealed some commonalities: all were driven by strong private
sector partners who contributed capital, management expertise and
entrepreneurial flair; most concerned livestock products, rather than
live animals, which matched the market's requirements; many had
developed strong brand identities which had become synonymous with
quality, safety and dependability; and many were vertically integrated
systems, incorporating small and medium scale out-grower producers.
Often these successes have been achieved despite the absence of
effective support from the public sector, such as national veterinary
One of the key findings of this study is the disparity between the push
for global harmonisation of animal health standards for trade, and the
lack of capacity of developing countries, particularly LDCs, to meet
these standards. The study considers how this might be rectified and
concludes that building capacity of regional bodies to create regional
centres of excellence with regard to SPS matters may be the most
practical way forward.
A three page executive summary is also available in addition to this
PPLPI, FAO, Rome, Italy, viii+73 pp.