Livestock in developing countries contribute up to 80% of agricultural GDP. 600 million rural poor people rely on livestock for their livelihoods. Two-thirds of the world's domestic animals are kept in developing countries, where over 90 percent are owned by rural small holders. These farmers depend on ruminant animals -camels and water buffaloes - as well as cattle, sheep and goats, for food, livelihoods, and an efficient means for preserving natural resources.
The major constraints to improving livestock productivity in the tropics and subtropics, where production efficiency is only one-quarter that in developed regions, include a devastating animal disease burden, a near-ubiquitous shortage of good-quality livestock feeds, rapidly diminishing forage and animal biodiversity, poor access to markets, and unresponsive policy environments.
Research & Impact: Areas of Research: Livestock,Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, Washington D.C. http://cgiar.bio-mirror.cn/impact/research/livestock.html (access Dec. 2013)