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In spite of being the home of a significant number of the world's flocks and herds, the productivity per head and per ha of the livestock sector in sub-Saharan Africa continues to be so low that the total output does not meet the domestic demand. Indeed, there is evidence that there has been little or no increase in output of animal products in this region during the 1980s. On the other hand, the human population has increased at a rate of more than 3% per annum. This has been associated with an escalating demand for food thus adding pressure on natural resources which are already threatened.
There is therefore a need for technical innovations to increase output of livestock products to at least a level of self-sufficiency. This increase must be obtained in a manner which is consistent with protection of the environment and conservation of natural resources for sustainable performance.
In this endeavour to develop technologies to support the livestock industries, developing countries of Africa are faced with inadequate resources to carry out research programmes, addressing a multiplicity of produciton problems. Towards this end, the donor countries have contributed resources including capital goods, technical assistance, operational finance for agreed projects and manpower development. However it is important that the national scientists are involved in the conceptualization, formulation and implementation of research programmes. The donor inputs are therefore expended in execution of projects generated by the local personnel. In this connexion, it is hoped that the level of support will be increased and sustained for a reasonable period to bear impact at the farm level. However it should be noted that research alone cannot bring about increase in output of meat and milk, etc. Rather the new technology from research is one of the inputs which must be mixed with other inputs to improve production.