Markets that work: Making a living from livestock

ILRI Annual Report 2007 is now available for download. Read the foreword by the chair of ILRI board of trustees Uwe Werblow and ILRI's director general Carlos Seré.


This is a time of intense change, with volatile food prices, a near meltdown of financial markets and the continuing growing threats of climate change and emerging diseases.

Research by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and its partners is helping to address these issues by working at the intersection of small-scale livestock production systems with these new global forces. We see strong growth in demand for research into dynamic markets for livestock products; the growing competing demands for human food, animal feed and biofuels; the growing environmental concerns about the expansion of livestock production; bird flu and other emerging zoonotic diseases; and the impact of climate change on animal agriculture in developing countries.

Livestock is one of the fastest growing sub-sectors in developing countries, where it already accounts for a third of GDP and is predicted to become the most important agricultural sub-sector by 2020 in terms of added value. We view market-led pro-poor growth, the topic of this year’s annual report, not as a silver bullet that will solve all the ills of the livestock sector in poor countries but rather as one of several pillars of livestock development. The livestock markets and trading systems of developing countries are as yet remarkably poorly studied and understood. What we do know is that they are far more complex and dynamic and have far higher through-put than is commonly assumed.

The increasing demand for livestock products is creating opportunities for improving the welfare of millions of poor people who depend on livestock for their livelihoods, but changes in production, procurement, processing and retailing of food, along with environmental and food safety concerns, erosion of animal genetic resources and the threat of emerging infectious diseases, threaten the potential of the poor to benefit from the on-going livestock revolution. With these new challenges, we believe livestock researchers must find new ways of working, including adopting innovation systems and valuechain approaches to their work.

The role of research is never greater than during times of change. With our research investors and partners, we continue to look for ways to adapt ourselves to continual change while seeking technical, institutional and policy solutions to complex problems. We continue to support national work to build indigenous livestock research capacity and to develop institutional arrangements that encourage continual learning. And we continue to look for effective ways to integrate research results and share research-based knowledge with those who need it most. We thank those investors and partners who continued to make this all possible in 2007.

Uwe Werblow                                          Carlos Seré
Chairman of the Board of Trustees              Director General

Download ILRI Annual Report 2007


Markets that work: Making a living from livestock (3MB PDF File)

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