Guidelines for the Preparation of Livestock Sector Reviews

Guidelines for the Preparation of Livestock Sector Reviews



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Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Rome 2011


The ‘livestock revolution’ has generated steadily increasing levels of livestock production, making this sub-sector one of the fastest-growing in agriculture. Furthermore evidence shows that livestock provide a vital contribution to livelihoods, income and nutrition of the rural poor. Yet expansion of the livestock sector is linked with challenging problems, such as the risks of infectious animal diseases especially those that may infect humans, and potential environmental impacts. Hence despite the important contributions of private sector producers, traders and distributors, there is a continuing need for public sector policies, institutions and controls. The preparation of a Livestock Sector Review is a valuable tool in the design of policies for animal production, health and disease control, marketing and trade.

Based on experience of such studies, in many developing countries, these guidelines provide indications of tried and tested approaches, analytical tools, contents, and delivery methods for the presentation of livestock sector reviews. Five main sections provide recommendations on:

    i) the purpose of livestock sector reviews – reconciling different social objectives, review requirements and resource constraints;
    ii) core content of the review – key components and recommendations;
    iii) analysis of specific issues – covering specialist topics not included in all reviews;
    iv) conclusions - future investment and policy options and action plans and
    v) data, information and analytical tools – covering data recovery and methods of analysis.

The guidelines provide an essential reference for recruiting officers, responsible for drafting Terms of Reference for reviews, FAO consultants who would appreciate a checklist, young professionals and other livestock or social science specialists who have not previously conducted a sector review.

Table of Contents


Target audience and content



The purpose of livestock sector reviews

Potential aims of the review and potential clients
Role of the public sector
National development goals
Reconciling conflicting objectives
Scope, scale, timing and costs of reviews
Preparatory activities


Core content of the review

Background information
Structure of the livestock sector
Livestock in the economy
Natural and human capital resources
Input delivery systems
Institutions and organizations


Analysis of specific issues

Environmental issues
Markets and trade
Social issues
Animal health and welfare


Conclusions: future investment and policy options and action plans

Exploration of policy and investment options
Presentation of findings


Data, information and analytical tools

Data and information requirements
Use of secondary sources
Rapid assessment using local informants
Analytical tools: a summary


Additional sources not cited



Annex 1: Livestock unit coefficients that can be used for international comparisons
Annex 2: The development of feed balances for livestock
Annex 3: Determination of gross margins for crops, non-grazing livestock and grazing livestock
Annex 4: Productivity measurement

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The views expressed in this information product are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of FAO.

ISBN 978-92-5-106910-3

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