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Conference Papers Year : 2022

The future contribution of goats in redesigning livestock activities and value chains

La future contribution de l'élevage caprin à la re conception des activités d'élevage et de leurs chaînes de valeur



The communication explores the impacts of present global changes regarding the possible future of livestock activities and specially goat farming. Although we have observed for twenty years an important growth of the demand for animal products from nearly all species, the future of animal production is presently in question: -Emerging societal movements in favor of veganism aim to banish the consumption of animal products for both ethical and dietetic reasons; and we observe that the lobbying of specialized firms support more and more these positions. -Many studies have clearly shown the role of animal production and specially ruminants in the emission of green – house gases and climate warming; It could be related to the low energetic efficiency and the waste of food resources generated by animal production in an overpopulated world. One of the consequences of these deeply documented positions is that many international and national public organizations are more and more reluctant to support projects involving animals. These positions are characteristic of the turmoil and confusion generated by a fast changing world which has forget that until the mid - 19th century the development of mankind was based on the complementarity between animals (furnishing first fertilizers and then food) and vegetal foods. Besides, ruminants are the only way to use spontaneous herbaceous species and pastoral mountain areas. Among all the domesticated animals, goats are the specie that had developed since millennials these multifunctional aptitudes in all continents and under all environments. Since 50 years, the way of progress for goat production has clearly followed the main stream of technical progress: selection of goat breeds with high performances for milk, meat and fibers (cashmere), development of global value chains, installation of very large units to decrease the production costs, loss of traditional know - how…. These paradigms of intensification have locked in all the discussions on the types of models to promote including in the most traditional hinterlands seen as backward and marginalized; and this situation has explained in many cases why many development projects in such areas were a failure. The present situation and the challenges faced by the world will force all the actors to change our classical visions and to imagine how to design new and diverse production systems and value chains, to create new solidarities between production and consumption, between goats farming and agriculture. Goat farming has to be intensified again in qualified labor and not only in other production factors! We are presently in a transition phase and this new world to build will require both traditional practices and last up dated technologies, imagination and capacities. To succeed this transition, the role of public action to support local initiatives will be also decisive. From these starting points, goats have probably winning cards to enter in a virtuous cycle in favor of sustainable development and be a part of operational ways to promote agro ecological transition and livable world.
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hal-03784207 , version 1 (22-09-2022)


  • HAL Id : hal-03784207 , version 1


Jean-Paul Dubeuf. The future contribution of goats in redesigning livestock activities and value chains. 13th International Conference on Goats, International Goat Association, Sep 2022, Budapest, Hungary. ⟨hal-03784207⟩
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