A Sourcebook for Decision Makers on How to Improve Livestock Data
Available data on livestock, stakeholders contend, are insufficient to formulate and implement the necessary public and private sector investments for livestock sector development, whose potential contributions to economic growth, poverty reduction and food security risk thus remain untapped. Most countries “lack the capacity to produce and report even the minimum set of agricultural data necessary to monitor national trends or inform the international development debate” (World Bank, 2011, p. 11). In particular, a review of existing livestock- related data/datasets for African countries suggests that:
- There exists a variety of livestock-related indicators within Africa at country level, including figures on animal numbers and meat and dairy production, consumption, and trade flows of a number of livestock products, both raw and processed (e.g. FAOSTAT, 2013; WAHIS, 2013). The quality of available data, however, is often questioned by livestock stakeholders, even for the most basic indicators such as livestock numbers (see chapter 1.4).
- Nationally representative household, agricultural and/or farm surveys — which are more or less regularly under taken by the National Statistical Authorities — tend to marginally appreciate livestock. The survey questionnaires contain only a few, if any, livestock-related questions, mainly focusing on the number of animals owned and value of production. These surveys, therefore, don’t currently lend themselves to generating comprehensive information on farm, non-farm and off-farm livestock-related activities (e.g. on livestock trade), which is much needed by policy makers (see chapter 1.3).