Cover Image
close this bookLivestock to 2020 - The Next Food Revolution. 2020 Vision for Food, Agriculture, and the Environment. Discussion Paper 28. (IFPRI, 1999, 79 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentForeword
View the documentAcknowledgments
View the document1. The Livestock Revolution
View the document2. Recent Transformation of Livestock Food Demand
View the document3. Accompanying Transformation of Livestock Supply
View the document4. Projections of Future Demand and Supply to 2020
View the document5. Implications of the Livestock Revolution for World Trade and Food Prices
View the document6. Nutrition, Food Security, and Poverty Alleviation
View the document7. Environmental Sustainability
View the document8. Public Health
View the document9. Technology Needs and Prospects
View the document10. Taking Stock and Moving Forward
View the documentAppendix: Regional Classification of Countries Used in this Paper
View the documentReferences
View the documentRecent Food, Agriculture, and the Environment Discussion Papers


The combined per capita consumption of meat, eggs, and milk in developing countries grew by about 50 percent from the early 1970s to the early 1990s. As incomes rise and cities swell, people in the developing world are diversifying their diets to include a variety of meats, eggs, and dairy products. This trend toward diversified eating habits is likely to continue for some time to come and it has led to considerable controversy about the risks and opportunities involved. Some observers fear that greatly increased demand for feedgrains will raise the price of cereals to the poor. Others are concerned that higher concentration of livestock production near cities adds to pollution. Still others worry about the public health effects of increased consumption of animal fats and the rapidly increasing incidence of diseases passing from animals to humans. On the other hand, many analysts point to the nutritional benefits of increased consumption of animal products for populations that are still largely deficient in intake of protein and micronutrients. Furthermore, livestock traditionally have been an important source of income for the rural poor in developing countries. Finally, increased demand for livestock products may provide an engine for sustainable intensification of smallholder food and feed production systems.

A team of researchers from the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) collaborated to produce this comprehensive and even-handed attempt at defining the nature, extent, scope, and implications of what they term the “Livestock Revolution” in developing countries. Looking forward to 2020, they argue convincingly that the structural shifts in world agriculture being brought about by shifts in developing-country demand for foods of animal origin will continue and that increasingly global markets have the ability to supply both cereal and animal products in desired quantities without undue price rises. They emphasize, however, that policy decisions taken for the livestock sector of developing countries will determine whether the Livestock Revolution helps or harms the world’s poor and malnourished. The report emphasizes the importance of continued investment in both research on and development of animal and feedgrain production and processing, and the need for policy action to help small, poor livestock producers become better integrated with commercial livestock marketing and processing. It details a host of requirements in the area of technology development for production and processing of livestock products, potential benefits from new technologies, and critical policy issues for environmental conservation and protection of public health.

Per Pinstrup-Andersen, Director General
International Food Policy Research Institute

Abdoulaye Sawadogo, Assistant Director-General, Agriculture Department
Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations

Hank Fitzhugh, Director General
International Livestock Research Institute