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Report: Aid and Trade for Livestock Development and Food Security in West Africa

The central issue in this study is the search for
opportunities for livestock development to
enhance food security in West Africa through
aid and trade. The report discusses win-win and
trade-offs between aid and trade, reflecting a
rather traditional divide between development
aid and economic development. Nowadays the
notion public and private might replace that of
aid and trade.

Main conclusions in this report are:

 Much is possible for aid and trade in West Africa, provided a flexible and creative approach is

 Much is known in the region from earlier [Dutch] work on technical, social and ecological aspects
and trade-offs in livestock development of West Africa, as described in this report, but further
review and update is suggested.

 Basic definitions and commonly used concepts (e.g. on food security as well as quantitative
(notions of open borders and illegal taxes) should be used clearer to improve the discussions.

 Statistics are too unreliable to permit accurate descriptions.

 Many (socio-economic and biophysical) drivers can be identified that influence the changes in
livestock production system in West Africa.

 Four major production systems are recognised: pastoral, mixed (off- and on-farm), intensive pigs,
poultry and some dairy, and last but not least backyard farming. In addition, value chains are
segmented into micro-, meso-, and macro-scale markets, implying a change from informal to
formal markets, and from local to (inter) national.

 All systems are subject to change, examples are greater intensity of mixing, Vergetreidung (shift
of diets of poorer sections of society to more dependency on products from plant origin), and a
desire for more local sourcing (not easy for milk).

 The largest trade-offs for policy decisions are likely to occur in the need to decentralize
processing and larger food chains, or in other words, in relative priority of local vs. (inter-) national

More detailed conclusions and recommendations are presented in five categories: context of livestock
production; main animal production sectors; challenges; opportunities; and policy choices and tradeoffs.
Overall the report strikes a cautious note, because of difficulties for trade, but more due to the
challenge in finding a balance between aid and trade. The proper balance deserves more attention,
rather than assuming a straightforward win-win. The authors think that further work in this field will find
more creative opportunities rather than hidden problems.

Read the report (101p., 3,5Mo):

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