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  • Ugo Pica-Ciamarra
    Livestock Economist
    Livestock Information,
    Sector Analysis and Policy Branch (AGAL)
    FAO HQ, Room C-509
    Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
    Rome 00153, Italy
    Tel: +39 06 570 53897

Livestock Data Innovation in Africa


Good livestock data are key for FAO’s Member countries to design and evaluate effective and equitable livestock policies and programmes, but ‘at present there is a paucity of statistical data on which to base marketing, investment, or policy decisions, or with which to assess the efficacy of current commitments or policies’ (Global Strategy to Improve Agricultural and Rural Statistics, 2010).

The World Bank, the Animal Production and Health Division of the FAO and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) have thus joined forces to implement the Livestock Data Innovation Project in Africa. The Project is implemented in collaboration with the Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources of the African Union (AU-IBAR) and with financial support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It assists country governments in sub-Saharan Africa, including Niger, Uganda and Tanzania, in improving the quantity and quality of livestock data available to decision makers in the public and private sector.


The Project is structured around three pillars:

  • Collection and analysis of household survey data to improve our understanding of the role of livestock in the household economy and of livestock-livelihood linkages.
  • Collection and analysis of data measuring current and projected consumption of animal source foods. This allows the identification of lucrative business opportunities for livestock producers, and the specific supply chains within which they can profitably operate.
  • Analysis of data / indicators to identify critical constraints that limit livestock producers from increasing efficiency and from participating in potentially remunerative value chains and markets.

While the Livestock Data Innovation Project has been piloting data-related activities in three sub-Saharan African countries, it will produce two major public goods of use to all livestock stakeholders:

  • A ‘Sourcebook on Livestock Data in Africa’, which is a guide towards collecting and analyzing livestock-related and poverty data with the objective of better understanding and responding to the key developmental questions facing livestock sectors.
  • An advocacy document ‘Livestock for Development: The Opportunities and Challenges’, which provides empirical evidence on the role of livestock in the lives and livelihoods of the poor and recommends strategies to enhance the contribution of livestock to poverty reduction and economic growth.