«FAO ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND HEALTH paper ADDING VALUE TO LIVESTOCK DIVERSITY Marketing to promote local breeds and improve livelihoods Cover ...»
Policy In four of the eight cases, government policy was broadly supportive of the enterprise.
In Mongolia, the government supported the camel wool initiative through research and export certification and by proposing a Protected Designation of Origin. In Argentina, the local and national governments supported both the sheep and goat projects in various ways: by providing a supportive policy framework, by granting land and funds, through research, and collaboration with a government-owned abattoir. In South Africa, the government originated and funded the Umzimvubu Goats project.
In India, government policy has had mixed effects. Inconsistent policy on value addition and the withdrawal of government contracts undermined the wool industry in the Deccan.
On the positive side, the government has given grants to support the handicraft industry.
In three cases, government has had very little involvement in the enterprise. Tiviski in Mauritania complains of the lack of government support, while in Kyrgyzstan and Somalia there has been no government contribution to the marketing efforts. In Somalia, the lack of government interference has probably sustained rather than hindered the development of the chain. However, the value chains in Kyrgyzstan and Somalia probably need active government support if they are to develop further, for example by making it easier for the women to get credit. Without a suitable policy framework, initiatives can remain isolated, Adding value to livestock diversity stand-alone projects with limited national impact and no chance of being scaled up. Successful niche marketing projects need long-term policy understanding and support.
In none of the cases was the government actively hostile to the initiative. Value chains can and do prosper despite government hostility (the thriving international trade in illegal drugs is an example), but it is difficult to see how any of our cases could have survived without at least a neutral attitude on the part of the government.
Even if they are not hostile, governments can still disadvantage small-scale livestock keepers through neglect, or by promulgating policies that inherently favour large-scale operations. For example, it may be prohibitively expensive for small-scale herders to comply with rules on tagging individual animals to ensure traceability, or install the equipment needed to conform to hygiene standards.
International regulations can act as a severe impediment to the development of value chains. The clearest example of this is Tiviski, which has tried to export an innovative product (camel milk cheese) to Europe, only to run up against a ban on imports of dairy products from Mauritania. Other cases give similar examples: regulations do not allow Shramik Kala to use eco-friendly materials in its packaging, while Mongolian camel wool producers have had to negotiate a thicket of regulations in order to export yarn to the United States.
They have had to rely on the services of volunteers and sympathetic officials in order to clear these hurdles.
Box 9 summarizes some of the more important regulations affecting the marketing of livestock products.
IMPACTS Here we focus on five potential impacts of niche marketing: on the beneficiaries, pro-poor effects, local breeds, the environment and gender.
Beneficiaries How many people benefit from the initiatives described in each case? The largest enterprises (Mauritania and South Africa) have the largest number of beneficiaries (over 3 000 families each, counting producers and employees). The amount of information on the other cases is limited, but it seems that numbers vary from about 50 (Mongolia) to 1 500 (Argentina goats).
Livestock keepers. In all cases, the livestock keepers benefited through higher, more stable prices, increased demand for their product, a more reliable market, or some combination of these.
Indeed, the rationale behind seven of the cases (all except the dairy in Mauritania, which was mainly a business venture) was to raise the price that livestock keepers or artisans get for their products. In Kyrgyzstan, for example, goat herders can earn more by producing combed cashmere rather than whole fleeces; in Mongolia, spinners can make more money by producing skeins of wool ready for foreign hobbyists to knit. In Somalia, a project attempted to raise producers’ incomes by establishing a dairy (with limited success) and providing equipment (with more success). And although it is a private company, the Tiviski dairy in Mauritania is forced to pay high prices to its milk producers in order to maintain supplies.
But only in three cases were the livestock keepers themselves responsible for adding PART 4: Analysis 127
BOX 9 Legal and policy regulations for marketing of livestock products
A host of international, national and local laws, regulations and policies affect the marketing of livestock products. The specific rules depend on the nature of the product.
Here are some of the more important ones.
WTO Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, 1994. The agreement gives countries the sovereign right to set their own food safety and animal and plant health standards as they may deem appropriate. Many countries regulate the importation of livestock and other products.
European Union regulations. There are many EU trade, health and sanitary regulations. For example regulation no. 1760/2000 of the European Parliament and of the Council covers the labelling of beef and beef products.
Other regional regulations. Bodies include the Economic Commission for West African States, (ECOWAS), the Central African Economic Commission (CEMAC), Mercosur, and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
National regulations may include:
Local laws regulate markets and transport in a particular area.
value to the product. In Kyrgyzstan, women goat keepers comb the fine cashmere from their animals’ coats before shearing the fleece. In Argentina, it is the women sheep raisers who make the ponchos and handicrafts sold in the Mercado de la Estapa store. And in Mongolia, women pastoralists spin the camel wool that is shipped to the United States.
In the Argentine goats case, the value is added through labelling – in which the livestock keepers have no direct input – but at least some of the higher price accrues to them.
Processors. In four other cases, the livestock keepers benefit only indirectly through higher demand or a more reliable market. The value addition is done by others: artisan members of self-help groups affiliated with Shramik Kala in India, employees of Tiviski in Mauritania and Umzimvubu Goats in South Africa, and women traders Somalia.
Reasons for this include technology, skills and scale. Certain types of processing (cardAdding value to livestock diversity ing and spinning wool, making handicrafts) can be done by individual livestock keepers at home. Others (transporting over long distances, making sausages, supplying packaged items to supermarkets, cooling and pasteurizing milk, complying with supermarkets’ hygiene requirements, producing large amounts of uniform products) cannot be done by individuals because they require special equipment and skills or involve quantities that a single household cannot handle.
Service and input providers. In all the cases, people other than livestock keepers and processors also benefit. They include transport companies, retailers, and suppliers of inputs and services at each stage in the value chain.
Pro-poor effects As described above, niche marketing of products from local breeds has increased (or promises to increase) the incomes of various groups. It may have the fortuitous effect of being pro-poor. Indeed, that may be the main reason such projects are attractive for development
agencies. There are two reasons for this:
Local breeds kept mainly by the poor. In the Kyrgyzstan and the Argentinean sheep cases, only the poorer families still maintained the breeds that produce the desirable product (fine cashmere and coloured wool). In India, it was presumably the poorer shepherds who still maintained the Deccani sheep despite government exhortations to switch to “superior” breeds.
Self-selection by the poor. The type of work or amount of income generated may make it unattractive for wealthier individuals. In Mongolia, for example, the largerscale herders did not get involved in spinning wool: they were too busy managing their herds, and maybe did not need the small amount of additional income generated through spinning. Much of the spinning was therefore done by women in poorer households and rural centres.
Several of the cases show how enterprises can act in a pro-poor manner:
In India, Shramik Kala (itself a federation of self-help groups) coordinates handicraft production by self-help groups of poor women. It is trying to scale up production, both by establishing more self-help groups and by facilitating other organizations to adopt its methods.
In South Africa, the Umzimvubu Goats abattoir must balance its need to guarantee a reliable supply of animals with its corporate mission to provide a market for smallscale farmers.
In Mauritania, Tiviski pays the same price per litre of milk, regardless of how much a camel owner delivers.
Such choices can be commercially painful. Dealing with a large number of small-scale producers is costly and presents challenges in quality control. Umzimvubu Goats is under pressure to buy animals from commercial farmers outside the district so it can guarantee the supplies it needs. And Tiviski knows that dealing with small amounts of milk from many suppliers is expensive.
The livestock keepers benefit in another, more intangible way. By becoming part of a value chain that increases their incomes without damaging the environment, they can gather government support. This is important in areas where governments tend to view PART 4: Analysis 129 livestock keepers, especially itinerant ones, as a problem or threat, and try to get them to change their lifestyles, settle in permanent locations and start growing crops.
Breeds The wool and cashmere cases generally report a positive stimulus on the breeds and species in question. Increased demand or higher prices encourage livestock keepers to keep more of the animals (as in the India and Argentina sheep cases), and prevent cross-breeding and establish elite breeding herds (as in Kyrgyzstan). A successful value chain can also convince governments that it is worth protecting and investing in a breed and in the things needed to support it – such as assuring access to public grazing land and providing veterinary care.
At least two of the cases (Mauritania and South Africa) experience problems in obtaining sufficient supplies of the raw product (camel milk and live goats), despite offering a reliable market and guaranteed prices. It appears that other factors – climate, availability of grazing, political factors, culture – influence the availability of the product, and perhaps the fate of these breeds. And without strong links between the product and the breed, enterprises may be tempted to use raw materials from other breeds or species or crossbreed to increase output (as in Kyrgyzstan).
Many animals produce more than one type of product, and these products may compete with one another. If a livestock raiser discovers it is more profitable to sell live animals or meat rather than milk or wool, the breed itself may be endangered – as was the case in Mongolia before the start of the camel wool project.
Environment Two of the cases included environmental conservation as specific goals. The Mongolian camel project began as an environmental conservation initiative and was implemented by a conservation NGO. The Criollo goats initiative in Argentina includes environment in the criteria for its Protected Designation of Origin certification. In both of these cases, impacts on the environment of the niche marketing activities are indirect rather than explicit: the projects may have included specific measures to conserve the environment, but these are not described.
Linking livestock keepers to a value chain may have adverse effects on the environment.
This may occur if the owners begin to keep more animals than the environment can sustain.
In India, shepherds are increasing the size of their flocks, so Shramik Kala is trying to persuade them to grow fodder crops rather than overgrazing the pasture. Adverse effects may also occur if the mobility of pastoralists is constrained. In Mauritania, pastoralists have a choice: they can either stay in the vicinity of the milk collection points, or they can take their animals in search of better grazing but risk losing income from milk sales. Their choices are reflected in Tiviski’s seasonal purchases of camel milk.
In Somalia, a more flexible system has emerged, where the milk collectors – themselves community members – follow the herds during the migrations. This enables and encourages mobility. Even here, though, some herders have begun to keep their lactating camels near their hut where they can milk them easily, while sending non-lactating animals further afield.
Adding value to livestock diversity
Broader trends may mask or accentuate the environmental effects of a marketing project. In most countries, rapid urbanization, population growth, changing lifestyles, the conversion of land to other uses, the decline of mobile pastoralism and climate change are much larger influences on the environment than the creation of a value chain for a particular product. In Mauritania, for example, it is unclear whether the tendency for pastoralists to settle in one location is because of Tiviski’s milk purchases or part of a broader trend towards settlement and urbanization. While the causes for such changes lie outside its control, a marketing initiative can reinforce them, accept them as a fact of life, or try to counteract them.