Livestock make an important contribution to national economies worldwide, with significant regional variation. In High-income countries, evidence suggests that livestock contribute to nearly 50% of agricultural gross domestic product (GDP), while in low and middle-income countries (LMICs), livestock contribute to about 25% of agricultural GDP (source). There is significant variation between countries. In LMICs, livestock support the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of poor people and so livestock development is an important a pathway out of poverty (source). It is important to remember that for communities in these regions, animals may serve multiple functions, which are not always captured by GDP (source). These include food production, income generation, draught power, savings/insurance resource, manure for fertilising, and ceremonial value.
Photo credit: ILRI flickr
For more insights, explore Economy resources