Some of the ‘Lessons Learned’ from the PPLPI project with respect to capitalizing on the livestock sector as a means to promote poverty alleviation have been:
- There are no ‘Best Practices,’ but some practices that have worked well in certain contexts. There are lessons to be learned from them and these should be inputs into the ‘learning process’ about how to handle new and evolving policy challenges.
- Pro-poor livestock outcomes are increasingly related to issues beyond smallholder livestock production and not only involve the poor, e.g., impacts of carbon sequestration payments in rangelands could become a key livelihoods component or not depending on how payment systems are set up. Similarly issues of food safety, trade, and emerging diseases could all impact significantly on pro-poor nature of livestock development.
- Livestock will continue to play a key role as a safety-net for certain groups of poor people. Social policies will thus become a key ambit within which to consider livestock related interventions, e.g., a livestock drought insurance scheme might be the most cost effective social policy in certain pastoral dryland settings.
- Global and national macro-economic policy contexts can be as important to poor livestock producers as are sectoral policies. There should be a balance of priority given to a) macroeconomic policies vis a vis sectoral ones (agriculture, livestock); b) economic policies vis a vis social and distributional policies to support the poor; and c) policies for sector growth vis a vis environmental sustainability.
- For this to happen, there is a need to engage with decision makers and institutions outside the livestock sector in both the public and private sectors at national, regional and global level.
- In order to pursue successful policy change, political and institutional analyses should accompany conventional technical and economic research.
FAO must be a key actor in building capacities for pro-poor livestock policy change in the world at all levels - national, regional and international. Given the magnitude of this challenge it is important that FAO does still more than it has done already in this area. It does have a comparative advantage in its ability to integrate these concerns into other areas of agricultural policy, in its ability to be ‘normative’, and in its being a neutral, ‘member-owned’ body. As a matter of policy, set-aside funding for pro-poor analysis should be a part of all externally-funded FAO projects, especially ones in response to emergencies.