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Livestock Systems

A farmer in Pakistan providing drinking water for her cattle

In short, if you care about the poor, you should care about agriculture. And if you care about agriculture, you should care about livestock.” - Bill Gates, speaking at the opening of the Edinburgh University Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Security, January 2018

The Livestock Systems Program brokers research partnerships that develop more productive, profitable and sustainable livestock systems for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment. 

The Program takes a holistic view of livestock systems, considering animal health and production technologies within the broader sociocultural, policy and economic contexts. Animal welfare and gender-sensitive approaches are central to the research design. 

The Program has three key focal areas:

1. Addressing the climate/livestock space. There is an urgent need to consolidate existing evidence – and identify gaps – in global research demonstrating the greenhouse-gas emissions reductions that occur with more efficient, ‘climate-smart’ livestock production systems. 

2.  Trade and market access. Research into the transition from low-input to more market-oriented livestock systems has been a key ACIAR theme for many years. A ‘whole-of-system’ approach that focuses on livestock production and biosecurity improvements within the relevant sociocultural, gender, policy and market aspects of the value chains will continue to be a key focus of the Livestock Systems Program. 

3. The role of animal-sourced foods in nutrition and food security – particularly for women and children – is a key focus in those environments more prone to food insecurity (for example, recurring drought, or higher than average proportions of malnutrition and/or stunting).  

Research Program Manager: Dr Anna Okello