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Livestock and societies : multiple roles of livestock in tropical countries

Inra Prod.Anim., 24 (1), 145-156


1 CIRAD, ICARDA, 15 G. Radwan Ibn El-Tabib St., Giza, Egypt, P.O. Box 2416, Cairo, Egypte

2 CIRAD, DRASEC Direction Régionale du Cirad, Bureau 102, Bât 2G, Cité diplomatique de Van Phuc, 298 Kim Ma, Hanoï, Vietnam

3 INRA, UMR0868 Systèmes d’Elevage Méditerranéens et Tropicaux, 2 place Viala, F-34060 Montpellier, France

4 CIRAD, Systèmes d’Elevage Méditerranéens et Tropicaux, Campus International de Baillarguet, F-34398 Montpellier, France

5 Supagro, Systèmes d’Elevage Méditerranéens et Tropicaux, 2 place Viala, F-34060 Montpellier, France

Due to its ability to develop in confined spaces or in harsh agro-ecological environments, livestock is important for a wide variety of social groups in almost all geographical locations. Livestock is part of many economic exchanges, in the form of barter or monetary exchange. Livestock also generates social benefits in the form of gifts, inheritances or "foster care". Livestock enables the structu-ring of social networks that contribute to the solidarity and security of human groups and it is an important factor in strengthening the economic and social capital of families. Livestock is then a complex object with multiple roles that are essential assets or opportunities for farmers. But this multi-functionality also explains that livestock is at the heart of many development issues for regions, at the interface between food security goals and objectives of human, environmental and societal development,. This review on the roles of livestock in southern societies shows how livestock is a way to fight against poverty in harsh agro-ecological environments or in zones with strong social constraints without neglecting the risks inherent to any activity in interaction with the social and ecological environment.

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