Almost all attempts to improve animal production systems in developing countries have failed because they relied on the transfer of technologies from developed countries. Livestock production systems in industrialized conuntries have high rates of animal productivity, which at the same time require high quality feeds, rich in energy and protein. Most developed countries are located in temperate climates in which cereals and high quality feeds and grains can be readily grown and have the currency to provide all the fossil fuel inputs required.
In order for Third World countries, located mostly in tropical regions, to adapt these systems, they must import exotic livestock and provide the high level of feeding at high cost. The transferred system has led to a loss of interest in indigenous breeds and local resources.
It is clear that there is a great need for new rural development strategies that should take into account not only food production but also renewable energy resources, employment generation, self reliance and protection of the enviroment. This strategy includes selection of crops and cropping systems which maximize biomass production, nitrogen fixation and minimize the use of imported or expensive inputs.