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A CLASSIFICATION OF LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION SYSTEMS

H. Steinfeld and J. Mäki-Hokkonen H. Steinfeld is Senior Officer (Programme, Policy & Planning) and J. Mäki-Hokkonen is Senior Officer (Livestock Production Systems), Animal Production and Health Division, FAO, Rome, Italy.

The objective of this article is to describe a classification of the world's livestock systems based on a recent study carried out by the Animal Production and Health Division (AGA) of FAO. The systems classification aims at: · Delineating and defining elements of a classification of livestock production systems. · Quantitatively and qualitatively describing each livestock production system in terms of feed and livestock resources livestock commodities produced; production technology; product use and livestock functions; area covered; geographic locations; and human populations supported. · Providing insights into the importance of livestock systems across world regions and agro-ecological zones and related trends in order to provide orientation to decision-makers involved in livestock development. The results form a valuable basis for priority setting in AGA's new programme of work, which will be based on a systems approach starting from the 1996-97 biennium. They were originally used as the basis for the environmental impact assessment of an FAO-coordinated global multidonor study on interactions between livestock production systems and the environment. The results are useful in a general discussion of livestock development. Full statistics and descriptions are contained in the forthcoming FAO publication World livestock production systems. The classification covers the following animal species: cattle, buffalo, sheep, goat, pig and chicken. In geographic terms, systems are grouped according to the following regions: sub-Saharan Africa (SSA); Asia; Central and South America (CSA); West Asia and North Africa (WANA); Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member countries, excluding Turkey, which was included in WANA; eastern Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS); and other developed countries (Israel and South Africa). The study covers 150 countries, comprising over 98 percent of the world production of the commodities concerned. Livestock production systems are considered to be a subset of farming systems. A review of the literature (Ruthenberg, 1980; Jahnke, 1982; FAO, 1980; De Boer, 1992; FAO, 1994) revealed that most farming systems classifications are not backed by quantitative criteria, which would enable cases to be clearly allocated to one class. These classifications are closer to typologies. No attempts at developing a classification of world livestock systems by using quantitative statistical methodologies (cluster analysis and related methodologies) could be located in the literature. This probably relates to the lack of appropriate data sets for such approaches on a global scale. The classification criteria were limited to three: integration with crops, relation to land and agro- ecological zone. The classification structure is outlined in Figure 1. In addition, the landless system group was split into two - landless ruminant and landless monogastric - bringing the total number of systems to 11.

1. Definition of systems
1. Solely livestock production systems (L) Livestock systems in which more than 90 percent of dry matter fed to animals comes from rangelands, pastures, annual forages and purchased feeds and less than 10 percent of the total value of production comes from non-livestock farming activities. 1.1. Landless livestock production systems (LL). Subset of the solely livestock production systems in which less than 10 percent of the dry matter fed to animals is farm-produced and in which annual average stocking rates are above ten livestock units (LU) per hectare of agricultural land. 1.2 Grassland-based systems (LG). Subset of solely livestock production systems in which more than 10 percent of the dry matter fed to animals is farm-produced and in which annual average stocking rates are less than ten LU per hectare of agricultural land.

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this system is especially important. The demand for monogastric meat is expected to grow from two. thus separating decisions concerning feed use from those of feed production. Figure 3.1. 2 . 1. LANDLESS LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION SYSTEMS (LL) The developed countries dominate the picture of landless intensive production with more than half of total meat production as shown in Figure 1. This system is therefore open in terms of nutrient flow.2. As much as 96 percent of the total pig-meat production in Asia occurs in China. DESCRIPTION OF SYSTEMS This section provides a summary of each system. In Southeast and eastern Asia. Thailand and Malaysia produce 84 percent of poultry meat. and a three.1 Rain-fed mixed-farming systems (MR). TOTAL MEAT PRODUCTION IN LANDLESS LIVESTOCK SYSTEMS 1.to fivefold between 1987 and 2006 from a base of 31 million tonnes. with 31 percent of the world total. this geographic distribution is determined by markets and consumption patterns in addition to levels of urbanization. A subset of the mixed systems in which more than 90 percent of the value of non-livestock farm production comes from rain-fed land use. Asia is already contributing some 20 percent and eastern Europe 15 percent. China. and particularly of manure utilization on fields to produce feed and/or cash crops.1 Landless monogastric production system (LLM). Viet Nam and Indonesia. housing and disease control. 2. Central and South America follow. as well as assured markets both at home and abroad. where feed is introduced from outside the farm. Asia is second. with quantitative estimates of the magnitude of the resources involved in each system defined. For poultry. A subset of the mixed systems in which more than 10 percent of the value of non-livestock farm production comes from irrigated land use. Mixed-farming systems (M) Livestock systems in which more than 10 percent of the dry matter fed to animals comes from crop by-products or stubble or more than 10 percent of the total value of production comes from non-livestock farming activities. Landless monogastric systems are found predominantly in OECD member countries with 52 percent of the total landless pork production and 58 percent of the landless poultry production globally. The prerequisites for development into largescale vertically integrated production include the use of appropriate breeds and strains. This is associated with fast economic growth and urbanization. with 15 percent.to tenfold increase is expected in the demand for eggs from 9 million tonnes (Devendra.2 Irrigated mixed-farming systems (MI). In the case of pig production. Landless poultry and pig production systems account for the majority of the output in developed countries and their share is rapidly increasing in developing countries given their high supply elasticity in the short term. This information is supplemented by a brief description of the main features of each system as well as the development paths along which these systems are evolving. 2. together with the major outputs and a set of productivity indices. feed quantity and quality. This system is defined by the use of monogastric species. To a large extent. mainly chickens and pigs. 2. 1995). with the latter recently in sharp decline.1.

2 Landless ruminant production system (LLR). English breeds predominate in the United States. In these areas. The growth rate of this market will depend mainly on the evolution of the international price of cereals and the increased per caput incomes. they are almost exclusively found in eastern Europe and the CIS and in a few OECD member countries. the landless ruminant system is expected to continue to grow slowly in North America and southern Asia. This market will in part be supplied domestically and through imports from the United States. With regard to milk production.1. 3 . the demand for cereals created by these systems is also competing for land resources with land-based ruminant systems. GRASSLAND-BASED LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION SYSTEMS (LG) The importance of grassland-based systems in different world regions is shown in Figure 2. and feed conversion rates are about 8 to 10 kg of grains per kilogram of weight gain. principally cattle. nevertheless. China and Mongolia. there are one or two months of mean temperatures. corrected to sea level.The system is typically competing with traditional land-based production systems for shares in the urban markets.1 Temperate zones and tropical highlands grassland-based system (LGT).2. leading to substantial economies of scale. in which replacement stock is produced within the same vertically integrated system. its importance is also declining and ruminant production in that part of the world is shifting to land-based and smaller-scale systems.2. whereas in the tropical highlands daily mean temperatures during the growing period are in the range of 5° to 20°C. A growing market for grain-fed beef exists in Japan and the newly industrialized countries of Asia.5 kg per day. Locations in the tropical highlands comprise parts of the highlands of South America and eastern Africa. Further cases are reported for Chinese merino wool sheep on communal grazing in Jilin Province and sheep ranching on grass-clover pastures of intensive animal production enterprises in the state of Oregon in the United States (Nawaz and Meyer. Canada. Colombia. which cannot be transported economically over long distances. the Holstein-Friesian breed is clearly the most important. it is expected to decline in the EU as production becomes more extensive in response to policies reducing agricultural support. In the temperate zones. specialized breeds and their crosses. New Zealand and parts of the United States. the grazing system is constrained by low temperatures. 1986) and transhumant sheep on degraded high-altitude pasture in Nepal (Pradhan. Typical cases are large-scale feedlots in the United States and in eastern Europe and the CIS. and the South American camelid and sheep grazing systems in the altiplano of Peru and Bolivia. In Asia. where feed is mainly introduced from outside the farm system. The LLR system is based almost exclusively on high-producing. It is also feed-intensive and labourextensive. dairy systems close to Bogota. while the large European dual-purpose breeds provide animals for fattening. Intensive dairy operations in the same regions are more land-based because of the need to feed palatable fodder. the intensive ruminant systems are typically found in buffalo and dairy cattle production units/colonies in India and Pakistan. mainly from mixed systems. The abundance of rangeland in the United States has led to the specialized production of calves from beef breeds for feedlot operations. 1987). which. This system is closely linked to land-based systems that normally provide the young stock for landless systems. have not been bred specifically for performance under "landless" conditions. and in temperate zones they include southern Australia. The LLR system is highly capital-intensive. Central and South America and the developed countries dominate the picture in terms of meat production. together accounting for more than three-quarters of the world's production. In eastern Europe and the CIS. This production system is defined by the use of ruminant species. In a broader sense. Landless sheep production systems are only found in western Asia and northern Africa. 1992). It must be kept in mind that poultry and pork are close substitutes for beef and mutton. On the other hand. 1. to below 5°C. while under European conditions these animals are a joint product together with milk. Naqui and Jadoon. In the case of cattle. Extensive grazing systems are also found in parts of northwestern Pakistan involving sheep for mutton and wool (Nawaz. Australia and possibly South America. Typical cases are Mongolia's steppe system. Landless ruminant production systems are highly concentrated in only a few regions of the world. 1. and for beef production. Driven by population growth. Key efficiency parameters are daily weight gains and feed conversion. thus also interacting with the ruminant systems. New Zealand's dairy and sheep enterprises. This constitutes an important difference from landless monogastric systems. basically reflecting the efficient use of capital invested in infrastructure or in the form of lean animals and feeds. 1. and veal production in parts of the KU. Weight gains are usually in the range of 1 to 1.

In OECD member countries. such as the Amazon River delta and some parts of Queensland. the production from these systems is declining in relation to other values and uses assigned to these land resources. The system is predominantly market-oriented. The LGH system produces approximately 6 million tonnes of beef and veal and 11 million tonnes of cow milk worldwide. to Asian and African smallholders concerned with local markets and their own subsistence. many of the potentially suitable land resources are not used as a result of trypanosomiasis constraining livestock production. Humid and subhumid tropics and subtropics grassland-based system (LGH). only very limited cropping is considered for subsistence. frequently with production surpluses. Market forces and environmental concerns are curbing the potential for intensification of this system. In the African setting. to South American farmers mainly producing for the domestic market.2. an important proportion of which are of the zebu breeds. South Africa and Australia. and almost half of this population lives in Asia. for agronomic reasons. the LGH system comprises about 190 million head of cattle. such as recreational value.Figure 2. Under the LGT system. but they control more land and cattle per inhabitant than in the other regions. particularly in regions where access to markets or. In developing countries it tends to form a subsistence basis for certain groups of the population and its future role is seen more in providing employment for these groups than in making a major contribution to output and economic development. TOTAL MEAT PRODUCTION IN GRASSLAND BASED LIVESTOCK SYSTEMS The regions in which the LGT system predominates have a combined human population of 190 million. its production potential in global terms is relatively low. crop production is limited. in Argentina. and in very high rainfall areas. The LGH system is defined as a grazing system found in regions with more than 180 days of growing period. African hair sheep and dwarf goats are usually kept for local consumption only. far fewer people (14 million or 1. for example. which represents only 3. Uruguay.5 percent of the world total. this system is important only in Australia because of its ample land resources in relation to its population. In the subhumid and humid regions. The LGH system is found mostly in the tropical and subtropical lowlands of South America: in the llanos of Colombia and Venezuela as well as in the cerrados of Brazil. Outside Latin America. product use varies widely. By far the most important geographic region is Central and South America. Globally. Its importance in terms of sustaining the livelihood of rural populations is expected to decline as 4 . value as a wildlife and biological diversity reserve and the contribution to water conservation. Worldwide. 6 percent of the world's population (330 million people) lives in areas where the LGH production system predominates. As a result. In the subtropics. ranging from export-oriented New Zealand farmers. Australia. In developed countries. wool sheep are an important component of the system.7 percent) use the LGT system. Dual-purpose milk-beef systems in the Mexican lowlands and estancias in Argentina are also typical cases of this system. Since the LGT system is found mostly in marginal areas. buffaloes are also ranched. 1. their global market share is declining vis-à-vis that of other production systems. By definition. cattle are clearly the dominant species. It tends to be concentrated more in the subhumid zone.2.

efforts are being made to incorporate perennial tree crops. In developed countries. Sub-Saharan Africa.. northern Africa and sub-Saharan Africa. The LGA system is defined as a landbased system in tropical and subtropical regions with a growing period of less than 180 days. Rwanda) and in the Andean region of Latin America (Ecuador. the LGA system is important for the livelihood of large sectors of the rural population. This system is defined as a combination of rainfed crop and livestock farming in temperate or tropical highland areas. In the savannahs. 1992). and where grazing ruminants is the dominant form of land use. in developed countries it is extremely labour-extensive. and it is found in the tropical highlands of eastern Africa (Ethiopia. the pressure to expand crop production is increasing population pressure on the remaining rangelands. Burundi. in which crops contribute at least 10 percent of the value of total farm output. West Asia and North Africa. In other regions these systems are interrelated with other livestock production systems that have access to better-quality feed and are closer to markets. Globally. While in western Asia. besides that of producing ruminant animal products. in turn. new roles are emerging for these rangelands. This. C3 versus C4 grasses). frequently into silvo-pastoral systems. soybeans and sorghum. where it constitutes a traditional way of subsistence for an important part of the population. Improvements in road infrastructure and new technologies to allow the establishment of pastures with commercially worthwhile nurse crops are making the ley farming systems. Europe and northeastern Asia.1 Temperate zones and tropical highlands rain-fed system (MRT). In the 5 . In sub-Saharan Africa.interaction with crop cultivation turns it into a mixed system. Kenya. a potentially attractive pathway into mixed-farming systems (Thomas et al. In rain-forest regions. 1. whereas developed countries and Asia together contribute about 70 percent of the total meat production from mixed-farming systems. parts of western United States and southern Africa. and in Australia. Figure 3. 2. this system is being converted into a mixed-farming system by including annual crops.g. Uganda. limits the attractiveness of livestock production stratification.1. TOTAL MEAT PRODUCTION IN MIXED-FARMING SYSTEMS 2.3 Arid and semi-arid tropics and subtropics grassland-based system (LGA). incentives to produce quality beef are weak. In developing countries. involving rotations of crops and pasture. and Central and South America are relatively unimportant in terms of meat production. This system is found under two contrasting socioeconomic frameworks: in sub-Saharan Africa and the Near East and North Africa regions. Mexico). the utilization of these rangelands for animal production has often been subsidized through very low prices for grazing permits and public investments in irrigation. where private enterprises utilize publicly or privately owned range resources for ranching purposes.2. basically covering large strips of land north of the 30° northern latitude parallel. In low-income countries without an export market. such as maize. The main common feature of these two regions is that low temperatures during all or part of the year limit and determine vegetation that is quite distinct from that found in tropical environments (e. agropastoralism is the most important interface between livestock production and other agricultural production. 1 RAIN-FED MIXED-FARMING SYSTEMS (MR) The geographic distribution of mixed-farming systems is depicted in Figure 3. The MRT system is found in two contrasting agro-ecozones of the world: it is the dominant system in most of North America.

24 percent of the mutton production and 63 percent of the cow milk produced. It is found in all tropical regions of the world. in some cases driven by policies and in other cases by poverty.2 Humid and subhumid tropics and subtropics rain-fed system (MRH). particularly in the case of Brazil. animal traction. In the tropical rain-forest regions. this livestock system is very heterogeneous in its composition. Under smallholder conditions. however. it is also linked to export markets. In Asia. The MRA system is a mixed-farming system in tropical and subtropical regions with a vegetation growth period of less than 180 days. In most tropical MRT systems.and hence feed availability is an important way of intensifying and maximizing animal productivity. the multiple roles of livestock have prevailed. In Central and South America. This system includes regions with especially difficult climatic conditions for livestock (high temperatures and high humidity). sheep and goats were introduced some four centuries ago. Adaptation of highly productive temperate breeds to these challenges has been notably poor. In the highlands of sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. where 41 percent of the region's population is associated with the system. low population density. production increases must come from a further intensification of crop-livestock land-use systems. continuous cultivation and relatively heavy soils. The MRH system applies to approximately 14 percent of the global population. The system is replacing grazing systems in Africa and Latin America. The main restriction of this 6 . more use of external inputs and more open systems. means to concentrate nutrients for crops through manure. This has resulted in increasing negative externalities of these systems for the environment.course of the development process. fuel. and as a buffer to risks in crop production. production is less intensive. Bos indicus cattle were introduced a few decades ago and have now replaced the earlier introduced cattle breeds in tropical areas. milk tends to be a more important output than meat. In the African and Asian MRH system. where it is 35 percent. increased crop production . It is generally acknowledged that the biological potentials of mixed systems will be the key to productivity increases. reduced protection of domestic production and increased international trade have led to a stagnation or even a reduction in output levels. livestock production is based on mixed-farming systems. and the expectation is that purchased feed inputs will be replaced by nutrients cycled within the system. Globally. particularly animal traction and manure. the prospects for increasing cultivation area are limited. mixed systems will replace inefficient large-scale landless systems as these economies open up to the markets. mainly in developing countries. the MRT system is the most important source of animal products. providing 39 percent of the beef and veal production. he main challenge in sub-Saharan Africa is finding ways to increase productivity. Particularly in African and Asian smallholder systems the local breeds are still widely used. This ratio is particularly high in subSaharan Africa. Given the range of socioeconomic conditions and soils and climates involved. In the humid and subhumid regions of the tropics and subtropics. In Latin America. In many parts of Africa. and. a high degree of urbanization and relatively high per caput incomes have resulted in farming systems that are generally more oriented towards livestock production. Typical cases are smallholder rice-buffalo systems in Southeast Asia or soybean-maize-pasture large-scale commercial operations in the Brazilian cerrados. production technology in temperate locations evolved to higher specialization. this system caters to large domestic markets and. associated with reallocation of land-use patterns at the farm level. growing environmental concern. trypanosomiasis constitutes an additional constraint to these systems. Parts of the southern United States are the only significantly developed regions included in this system. in Central and South America.1. In developed countries. Bos taurus cattle. 2. this system has the potential for increased production and better use of feeds for intensified ruminant production. Many of the policies that promoted wasteful utilization of these resources have been stopped in the process of structural adjustment. the process is mainly driven by population growth. with livestock performing a series of functions in mixed systems: a continuous flow of cash income.1. 2. In Asia. In Latin America. high resource-consuming systems were established. In eastern Europe and the CIS. a cash reserve for emergencies. In Africa. and in Central and South America. by economic development and technological innovations. The highlands should favour small-scale mechanization because of the high population density.3 Arid and semi-arid tropics and subtropics rain-fed system (MRA).

which thrive on abundant crop residues. In 7 . The outlook for this system is relatively similar to that for the LGA system. and particularly the incorporation of southern European countries into the KU. Alternative development strategies and the reduction of population pressure on the resource base are key elements for the sustainable development of these regions. 2. The integration with livestock has been reduced. This is a mixed system in tropical and subtropical regions with growing seasons of more than 180 days. It is found particularly in the Mediterranean region (Portugal. the main outputs of this system. Low and variable response to inputs makes their use financially risky. mainly MRA. Manure is an issue only where animals are stabled. Bulgaria) and in the Far East (the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. About 10 percent of the global population lives in regions where this system is dominant. Fuelwood is often scarce as a result of deforestation and range degradation.system is the low primary productivity of the land resulting from low rainfall. Ducks do well in this environment. having to compete with more efficient rain-fed systems producing the same commodities. As is the case in other largely smallholder systems. 990 million people. in large parts of India and in northeastern Thailand and eastern Indonesia. Italy. it can be expected that these systems will be less and less viable. Albania. has led to an increase in intensive production systems for off-season vegetables and fruits on the best irrigated land. and 24 percent is in the West Asia and North Africa region. Meat. The system's importance in tropical highlands is negligible. production of manure and use as a cash reserve.1 Temperate zones and tropical highlands mixed system (MIT). This system is clearly associated with very intensive agriculture in temperate regions with a high population density. Greece. are mainly produced for the market. leading to the ever-increasing role of animals as providers of manure for fuel. and less important in Central and South America. There is close interaction with the LGA system. The resource base puts a clear ceiling on agricultural intensification. at least for certain periods of the day or the year. as do pigs and poultry. even under conditions of very seasonal rainfall. the MIH system is the one related to the largest population group.2 Humid and subhumid tropics and subtropics mixed system (MIH). more than any other land-based tropical system. Globally. 11 percent of cattle and 14 percent of sheep and goats are found in this system.2. The more severe the constraint. A large share belongs to developed countries with relatively high income levels and where agricultural trade is important. High population densities require intensive crop production. Japan and parts of China). in addition to the production of meat and milk.2 IRRIGATED MIXED-FARMING SYSTEMS 2. MIH systems throughout the world produce 13 million tonnes of pork (18 percent of global production). the Republic of Korea. 2.2. This system belongs to the group of land-based mixed systems of temperate and tropical highland regions. with ruminant grazing systems declining in absolute terms and being concentrated on the marginal sites. Small ruminants are particularly important in West Asia and North Africa under the MRA system. With increasing population pressure. mainly India. livestock have a range of simultaneous roles in this system. This system is important in the West Asia and North Africa region in parts of the Sahel (Burkina Faso. While this system supports larger populations than any other grazing system. In the past. because of the greater caloric efficiency of cropping vis-à-vis ruminant production when land becomes scarce. Increasing labour productivity and relative affluence of farmers in this system are reflected in the more frequent use of tractors for cultivation. animal production has been closely linked to the animal traction issue. Nigeria). Among the tropical and subtropical systems. the LGA system tends to evolve into mixed systems. Manure is recycled on the fields. 97 percent of which are in Asia. where plant growth is limited both by low temperatures in the cold season and reduced moisture availability during the vegetation period. and in which the irrigation of crops is significant. Population growth in this setting is contributing to the overexploitation of the natural resource base. and the irrigation of rice makes it possible to obtain more than two crops per year. Fifty-one percent of the population involved is in Asia. in addition to means of transport. The expansion of international trade. the less important crops become in the system and the more livestock take over as a primary income and subsistence source. The MIH system is particularly important in Asia. With the outcome of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) negotiations. Given the low intensity of the system and the multiple purposes of livestock. the introduction of improved breeds has been limited. including animal traction. substantially reducing yield variability as compared with the yield of upland rice or other rain-fed crops. milk and wool. as traditional property rights cannot cope with the growing demands. only 10 percent of the world's population is related to this system.

with livestock playing a very secondary role. mixed-farming systems contribute the largest share (53. 2. CONCLUSIONS Globally. In the MIA system. western United States and Mexico. their output will be increased milk and meat for the market. Figure 4. It is found in the Near East. particularly for milk and dairy products. The small share of grazing systems (less than 10 percent) is certainly surprising (Figure 4). South Asia. North Africa.addition. This is generally reflected in rather extensive management of livestock enterprises. in which irrigation makes year-round intensive crop production feasible. Competition for urban markets for livestock products is the main form of interaction with the landless monogastric system. Some of the world's highest lactation yields are achieved in the MIA system in Israel and California. small-scale buffalo milk production in Pakistan. such as buffaloes and. TOTAL MEAT PRODUCTION OF DIFFERENT PRODUCTION SYSTEMS (1991-1993 AVERAGES) 8 . with more than 90 percent of production generated in mixed-farming systems (Figure 5). which reduces the feed deficit. The MIA system is predominant in regions that are home to over 750 million people. The traditional smallholder MIA system in Asia relies heavily on buffaloes for milk production. and animal traction-based cash-crop production in Egypt and Afghanistan. largely for cultural reasons (Islamic and Jewish religions). both domestically and globally. followed by landless systems (36. intensive dairy schemes have been quite successful in hot but dry environments. Animals and intensive crop production in this ecological zone are an illustration of a successful and sustainable agricultural production system (Devendra. Israel and Mexico. In the traditional MIA system. Irrigation allows increased fodder production as a by-product or part of crop rotation. two-thirds of them in Asia and one-third in West Asia and North Africa. Cattle and buffaloes for milk and animal traction are the main ruminant resources. The picture is even more pronounced for milk production. The main introduced breeds are dairy cattle to supply milk to large urban centres. irrigated crop production is the main source of income.2. have little association with draught and transport. The MIA system makes an important contribution to food availability and employment in semi-arid and arid regions. since large ruminants. pigs are kept only in the Far East. to a lesser extent. The main interaction with other systems occurs through the international market. through international trade. although sheep and goats are important where marginal rangelands are available in addition to irrigated land. 3.8 percent). Typical cases are alfalfa/maize-based intensive dairy systems in California.9 percent) of total meat production. cattle. Under good management conditions. 1995). especially in areas with good market access.3 Arid and semi-arid tropics and subtropics mixed system (MIA). The improved feed base and utilization promotes intensification and commercialization of livestock production. This is a mixed system of arid and semiarid regions. they are virtually non-existent in West Asia and North Africa.

61 percent of pork and 26 percent of poultry. though starting from very different levels. Grazing systems are more important in Central and South America. the vast majority is provided by mixed systems. 18 percent of sheep and goat stocks and 37 percent of dairy cattle stocks.5 percent of beef and veal. and in the Far East pigs have become a very important source of red meat. It is expected that the importance of mixed systems as suppliers of livestock products will continue to grow in the future. Similarly. its importance is even greater. and where cattle are the most important livestock species. 21 percent of the cattle population.9 percent of all milk output. Globally. In developing countries. Both declining price support and increasing environmental regulations are inducing lower levels of intensity in this part of the world. Globally it represents 41 percent of the arable land. followed by mixed-farming systems. This required that links. The relative importance of different production systems and animal species varies markedly across the geographic regions of the world. resources. More than 90 percent of the world stock of buffaloes is concentrated in Asia. wide differences in production intensity can be observed.. In comparing livestock resource availability indices among systems. The limitations of the study summarized in this paper are many. etc. followed by beef and veal (53 million tonnes) and poultry (43 million tonnes). To a certain extent. pork is the most important meat source (72 million tonnes). In meat production. where small ruminants play an important role. Given the fact that horizontal expansion is no longer a viable option for most countries. a very wide range becomes evident in terms of resource endowment per inhabitant. intensity levels are frequently linked to price-support policies. particularly with the land base. On the contrary. crops. on the other hand. In terms of output. incentives for intensification are growing.Figure 5. the trend towards deintensification triggered by the removal of subsidies has led to higher growth rates of milk production from grazing systems compared with mixed-fanning systems. TOTAL MILK PRODUCTION OF DIFFERENT PRODUCTION SYSTEMS (1991-1993 AVERAGES) Land-based systems still provide a large share of the total livestock output: 88. representing 60 percent of the total of all three meats. Furthermore. the very intensive systems of developed countries are facing a series of environmental problems. had to be made using simple decision rules on which the classification scheme presented here is based. this problem was circumvented by obtaining subnational data for the major countries and allocating it to ecological zones. within systems and across countries. Among land-based systems. the landless systems are by far the fastest growing. population growth and the rising per caput income in many areas are increasing livestock product demand. specialized grazing systems only contribute 23. with only marginal growth rates for the grazing systems. 9 . Africa has vast livestock resources in semi-arid and arid regions. but rather by commodities. The MRT system is by far the largest. Asia's livestock are mainly found in mixed systems. Developed countries tend to be substantially better endowed with land and livestock per inhabitant. with its low population density and relatively high degree of urbanization. On the one hand. Intensity levels of the world's livestock production systems seem to be converging. These problems were compounded since national data tend to mask very important differences within countries.5 percent of the ruminant meat output and 7. etc. Statistical reports do not present information by production systems.

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