Small ruminants (goats and sheep) are kept for multiple purposes and provide a modest, but increasing, contribution to national production of red meat and milk. Most products are consumed by the household or traded through informal markets.
Small ruminant production systems
Pastoralism with larger herds
Guidelines for quantication
The methodology developed in these draft guidelines aims to introduce a harmonized international approach to the assessment of the environmental performance of small ruminant supply chains in a manner that takes account of the specificity of the various production systems involved. It aims to increase understanding of small ruminant supply chains and help improve their environmental performance. The guidelines are a product of the Livestock Environmental Assessment and Performance (LEAP) Partnership, a multi-stakeholder initiative whose goal is to improve the environmental sustainability of the livestock sector through better metrics and data.
The small ruminant1 sector is of worldwide importance. It comprises a wide diversity of systems that provide a variety of products and functions. In 2011, sheep and goats produced more than 5 million tonnes of meat and 24 million tonnes of milk. Production has increased by 1.7 percent and 1.3 percent per year, respectively, during the past 20 years (FAO, 2013). This increase was driven mainly by developing countries in Africa and Asia. However, Oceania (mainly for meat) and Europe still contribute significantly to production. Production systems can vary from intensive systems, in which animals are partially or predominantly housed, to extensive systems that rely on grazing and native forages, and transhumance systems that involve large flock movements. Products are not restricted to meat and milk; sheep are also valued for their wool (more than 2 million tonnes of greasy wool was produced in 2011), and goats for their mohair and cashmere. Small ruminants also play a crucial role in sustaining livelihoods in traditional, small-scale, rural and family-based production systems. Across the small ruminant sector, there is strong interest in measuring and improving environmental performance.
In the development of these draft guidelines, the following objectives were regarded as key:
These guidelines underwent a public review. The purpose of the review was to strengthen the advice provided and ensure it meets the needs of those seeking to improve performance through sound assessment practice. The present document is not intended to remain static. It will be updated and improved as the sector evolves and more stakeholders become involved in LEAP, and as new methodological frameworks and data become available. The development and inclusion of guidance on the evaluation of additional environmental impacts is viewed as a critical next step.
The strength of the guidelines developed within the LEAP Partnership for the various livestock subsectors stems from the fact that they represent a coordinated cross-sectoral and international effort to harmonize measurement approaches. Ideally, harmonization will lead to greater understanding, transparent application and communication of metrics, and, importantly for the sector, real and measurable improvement in performance.
RLN-FES Microlevel study of the village level animal markets with particular reference to small ruminants (India)
Report of the study conducted in Northern Karnataka Markets
Dr. B. R. Athani
Special thanks to Mamta Dhawan (IGA CR - India)
Increase in urbanization and per capita incomes have lead to shift in preferences of consumers towards protein rich foods, mainly the meat and dairy products. Within the meat subsector, the consumers in the terminal markets can be segmented based on their attitude towards the type of meat in terms of its quality, age, sex and species of origin. As a result, the traditional livestock markets are getting reorganized as monopolistic competitive with focus on the above parameters. On the other hand, the data suggests that shepherding is declining in irrigated areas for want of grazing land and several other factors. But in other areas, predominantly the uplands, the trends are encouraging. The vibrant live animal markets are subtly heralding new opportunities in the subsector.
The study was intended to undertake subsector analysis for small ruminants with more focus on their markets and the supply channels operating in the vicinity of production areas. Subsector was mapped to analyze the dynamics including the gaps in order to identify and address the bottlenecks. The results points out that even though the markets appear monopolistic competitive, still, they are complex and lack considerable degree of transparency in pricing, grading the animals and flow of market information. Traders generally use “nigah” method of pricing that does not employ scientific measurements to determine price.
The price spread appears relatively thin, depends again on size of markets and presence of participants from far off metro cities. The channel length is shorter in small satellite markets where shandy traders and butchers from nearby small towns dominate. The price of the meat in such small markets is also lower compared to the one at metro cities by 20%-30%. Ideally the price of live animals should have direct correlation with price of meat in terminal markets, but we observed that it is never a straight jacket transfer. Apart from trade controlled assessments, tendencies for opportunistic behavior by the buyers based on the local market conditions (in terms of inflow of animals, distresses on part of sellers, number of participants from metros, etc.) determine price trends.
Good Morning Colleagues of the International Goat Association (IGA),
On behalf of the USAID-funded program, Farmer to Farmer, administered by Partners of the Americas with headquarters in Washington, DC, it is a pleasure to share the following opportunity for volunteering and collaborating with us.
The Farmer to Farmer program was designed to bring US volunteers to developing countries across Latin America and the Caribbean. These volunteers support producers, cooperatives, agribusinesses, extension units, and agricultural institutions to develop their local capacity, increase productivity, and position themselves as competitors in the market.
As you can imagine, the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically affected our activities and in the past couple months we have innovated and adapted our program to continue to support our communities through remote technical assistance with remote US volunteers.
Previously, our program could only support the participation of volunteers with US citizenship or work permits. However, due to the travel restrictions associated with the pandemic, USAID has authorized a temporary modification to the program format to include the participation of local volunteers. These local volunteers include technical experts who can support their communities by sharing their knowledge as it relates to themes in agriculture and food security.
We are looking for volunteer experts in Small Ruminants to support our programs in Guatemala and Jamaica who can collaborate with remote volunteers in the US and support our F2F programming. The hope is that both the local and remote volunteer will collaborate, complement each other in their expertise, provide robust contributions to the host. In this way, program beneficiaries will benefit from the knowledge of both volunteers.
If you or anyone in your networks would be interested in volunteering with us, please contact our recruitment office in Washington, DC at email@example.com.
Finally, we would like to clarify that these are volunteer assignments and participants will not receive any financial compensation for their time. We offer the opportunity for local volunteers to participate virtually with the host organization in their country should in-person participation be compromised by risks associated with COVID-19. Volunteers who will make in-person visits to the host will be provided with personal protective equipment and financial compensation for basic needs associated with the assignment.
Please let us know should you have any questions and thank you for your interest in our F2F program.
The Farmer to Farmer team at Partners of the Americas
Efficiency and resilience of forage resources and small ruminant production to cope with global challenges in Mediterranean areas
Meknes, Morocco, 23-25 October 2019
The next Joint Meeting of the FAO-CIHEAM Network for Research and Development in Sheep and Goats (Subnetworks on Nutrition and Production Systems) and the FAO-CIHEAM Subnetwork for the Research and Development of Mediterranean Pasture and Forage Resources will take place in Meknes, Morocco, from 23 to 25 October 2019.
Participation is open to researchers, technicians, post-graduate students and other professionals working to improve the small ruminant sector and forage and pasture resources across Mediterranean countries and beyond.
Click here to see the scientific sessions.
USA, Mississippi – Assistant Professor in Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education with an Emphasis in Small Ruminant Production
The Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences is seeking an Assistant Extension Professor for a 12-month tenure track (60% Extension/40% Research) position to coordinate statewide Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) programs as well as develop extension and research programs in small ruminant health, reproduction or management. The Animal and Dairy Sciences Department currently houses approximately 380 undergraduate students, 25 graduate students and 22 faculty, both on campus and at research and extension centers throughout Mississippi. The Department conducts teaching, research and extension activities on the 1200 acre south farm that includes a research sheep herd. The Department began operations on a new 15,000 ft2 Meat Science and Muscle Laboratory in July of 2018 and will move into a new 38,000 ft2 Animal and Dairy Sciences Building in June of 2019. The Department offers Bachelors of Science degrees with concentrations in Pre-Vet/Science, Animal Production, and Business and Industry. Both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees are offered from within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in Animal and Dairy Sciences.
XI Congreso de la Asociación Latinoamericana de Especialistas en Pequeños Rumiantes y Camélidos Sudamericanos (ALEPRyCS)
1er Congreso de la International Goat Association Latinoamerican
June 4-7, 2019
Auditorios del Centro de Negocios de la Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro
READ THE FULL BRIEF
Small Ruminant Research Summaries
AASRP Meeting at 51st AABP Annual Conference
Phoenix, Arizona, USA, September 14, 2018
The 51st AABP Annual Conference will feature a scientific session focused on small ruminant research applicable to the health, welfare and productivity of goats, sheep, camelids or farmed deer. Research projects having direct application to small ruminant practitioners are being sought for the Oral Session on Friday, September 14. Each presentation should be limited to 15 minutes. Faculty, graduate students, practitioners or veterinary students are urged to share information with practitioners.
Participatory epidemiology and gender analysis to address small ruminant disease constraints in Livestock and Fish and Africa RISING project sites in Ethiopia
Animal diseases continue to constrain livestock productivity, agricultural development, human wellbeing and poverty alleviation in many regions of the developing world. In Ethiopia this is not only true for Livestock and Fish and Africa RISING project sites, but has been mentioned in sites of different project or programs where ILRI has been involved.
This participatory epidemiology and gender survey was conducted to better understand what these main livestock disease constraints are, how they affect different household, and how much men and women farmers know about their transmission. The findings of the study will also assist in defining future research related to small ruminant diseases, their economic impacts and gender issues related with animal diseases. Moreover, it also established gendered baseline data to monitor impact of future animal health interventions in small ruminants.
The International Goat Association promotes goat research and development for the benefit of humankind, to alleviate poverty, to promote prosperity and to improve the quality of life.