Development of livestock for livelihoods project to ease demand for animal products

Africa’s demand for livestock and livestock products is currently higher than the existing supply and is poised to increase significantly in the next three decades.

By the year 2050, with increased population to 2.4 billion people, food demand for livestock products will nearly double in subSaharan Africa and South Asia, to around 400 kcal per person per day.

This high and growing demand meets imports estimated at 4 billion USD per year as investments remain at an all-time low and a myriad challenge continue to stifle the sector’s potential for growth.

The African Union InterAfrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), a technical office of the Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Environment (DARBE) of the African Union Commission (AUC), is implementing the Pan-African Support to the AU-IBAR for a Sustainable Development of Livestock for Livelihoods in Africa project (Live2Africa).

The project is currently in its 3rd year of implementation under the funding from the European Union. In implementing the response to the growing demand of livestock for livelihoods and socio-economic development, Live2Africa sets out to support the transformation of the African livestock sector for enhanced contribution to environmentally sustainable, climate-resilient, socio-economic development, and equitable growth.

The project focuses on strengthening systemic capacity of continental, regional and national Livestock Sector stakeholders in all the 55 African Union Member States.

The Live2Africa project targets livestock value chain actors, special interest groups; private sector and women and youth, Continental livestock sector networks, platforms and associations. AU-IBAR is working with several entities to implement the project.

These include the Regional Economic Communities, as the building blocks and implementing arms of the African Union (AU), and affiliated AUC organs, such as The Pan African Veterinary Vaccine Centre an African Union Agency (AU-PANVAC) and the African Union Pan African Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis Eradication Campaign (AU-PATTEC).

With EU funding contribution of up to a tune of EUR 18,850,000 and AUC contribution of EUR 1 000 000, Live2Africa is also supporting efforts aimed at the implementation of the Livestock Development Strategy for Africa (LiDeSA).

The project has taken a three-pronged approach to galvanize continental momentum for implementation of LiDeSA, harness comparative advantages of priority regional value chains and is facilitating stakeholder engagement through strategic knowledge management and communication.

The project is contributing to the realization of the four objectives of the Livestock Development Strategy for Africa (LiDeSA) and comprehensively addresses its seven main results areas.

This is also aligned to several programs, policies, declarations and mandates including; the AU-IBAR 2018- 2023 Strategic Programme, the 2014 Malabo Declaration that stipulates the livestock sector as a priority pillar for poverty reduction, the pronouncement of 4th EU-Africa Summit by African and EU Heads of States, the Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES) and priority areas of “Integration” and “Social and Economic Development” of the AUC “Agenda 2063”.

It contributes to the level 3 of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) Result Framework 2015-2025 by “strengthening systemic capacity to deliver results” in the Livestock sector.

Live2Africa’s operation modalities cuts across seven areas; namely, i) Investment in Livestock Value Chains ii) Animal health delivery services; iii). Animal production, productivity and ecosystem management; iv) Resilience Strengthening of Livestock production systems; v). Technology adoption in the Livestock Value Chains; vi). Access to inputs, services, markets and value addition; and vii) Strengthening institutional capacities for AU-IBAR.

The 5-year project is building systemic capacity through harnessing AU-IBAR’s areas of comparative advantage including technical leadership in the development of Africa’s animal resources and convening power to change the political, policy and practice landscapes for animal resources development.

According to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) report of 2018, Africa is a livestock-rich continent, endowed with about one-third of the world’s total livestock population. By 2018, there was an estimated at 2 billion poultry birds (1.9 billion chickens, 26 million guinea fowl, 27 million turkeys, 22 million ducks, and 11.5 million pigeons), 438 million goats, 384 million sheep, just under 356 million cattle, 40.5 million pigs, almost 31 million camels, and 38 million equines (including 30 million donkeys, 6.5 million horses, and 885,000 mules)

While cattle, sheep, goats, donkeys, pigs and camel are the predominant species, the continent is also home to a number of emerging domesticated species and other types of wild animals.

It is estimated that the livestock sector contributes between 20 and over 80 percent of the agricultural value-added in most African countries, with some recording the fastest growing agricultural sector, out-competing food and cash crop sectors.

Within the productive sectors, the livestock sector has the greatest capacity to stimulate a multiplier effect: it is estimated that the incremental effect of every additional $1 spent, $2.9 are generated in primary livestock production and $5.9 in processing.

The sector also has high spillover effects, providing a strong stimulus for growth in other agricultural sectors, manufacturing and service sectors and thus providing an avenue for more equitable distribution of benefits.

The current per capita annual consumption of meat and milk of about 14 kg and 30 litres, respectively is projected to rise to 26 kg levels and 64 litres respectively by 2050.

The African market for animal-sourced proteins is expected to triple by 2050 to more than US$ 151 billion annually.

In reaching its mandate, the Live2Afica project hopes to ease this challenges and contribute towards easing the demand for African animal products, by attaining the overall project objective which is to support the transformation of the African livestock sector for enhanced contribution to environmentally sustainable, climate resilient, socio-economic development and equitable growth.

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