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Abstract, Animal Health Training and Consultancy Service , 2012

Livestock is directly related to the lives and livelihoods of the world's most poor and marginalized citizens. By definition. a poor livestock keeper does not hold enough livestock to meet basic subsistence needs. yet depends upon livestock. Half of the total poor of the world live in south Asia and the other half ot the remainder in Sub-Sahoran region. The aim of halving the poverty level by 2015 is unlikely to be achieved at present level of subsistence. Rapid growth in the demand for livestock products is creating new opportunities for improving the livelihoods of a large number of poor people. Livestock have a variety of characteristics fhat make them important contributors to sustainable rural development. They provide marketable products that can be produced by small-scale. household production systems. and are generally ot higher value and less vulnerable to critical harvesting time than mony crops. As an agricultural product with relatively high income elasticity. livestock are particularly attractive tor rural households to participate in urbon-like economic growth. Livestock are also productive assets, which contribute directly to tarm output through onimal traction and indirectly as a store of wealth for tuture investment. Furthermore, they can contribute to soil fertility and recycling of agricultural waste. Many livestock holders can benefit directly from the increasing market demand for livestock products. Demand growfh rates of 3 percent for cereals are less than half the demand growth for high value livestock commodities. demand for which is increasing by 6 to 8 percent annually. Furthermore. the poor can also benefit from the fact that livestock development creates demand for labor. supports economic linkages with the feed and processing industries. encourages food security through stronger supply and can lead to lower prices for food of animal origin.