The Livestock Revolution

These changes create a veritable Livestock Revolution propelled by demand.[1] People in developing countries are increasing their consumption from the very low levels of the past, and they have a long way to go before coming near developed country averages. In developing countries, people consumed an annual average in 1996 1998 of 25 kg/capita meat and 44 kg/capita milk, one-third the meat and one-fifth the milk consumed by people in developed countries. Nevertheless, the caloric contribution per capita of meat, milk, and eggs in developing countries in the late 1990s was still only a quarter that of the same absolute figure for developed countries and, at 10%, accounted for only half the share of calories from animal sources observed in the developed countries.[1] For present purposes, developed countries include Western Europe and Scandinavia, North America, Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, Japan, Malta, Israel, and South Africa. All others are classified as developing countries.

Per capita consumption is rising fastest in regions where urbanization and rapid income growth result in people adding variety to their diets. Across countries, per capita consumption is significantly determined by average per capita income, and aggregate consumption grows fastest where rapid population growth augments income and urban growth.[2] Since the early 1980s, total meat and milk consumption grew at 6 and 4% per year, respectively, throughout the developing world (Table 1). In East and Southeast Asia where income grew at 4 8% per year between the early 1980s and 1998, population at 2 3% per year, and urbanization at 4 6% per year meat consumption grew between 4 and 8% per year.[1]

China plays a dominant role on the meat side. The share of the world's milk consumption rose from 34 to 44%. Pork and poultry accounted for 76% of the large net consumption increase of meat in developing countries from 1982 1984 to 1996 1998. Conversely, both per capita and aggregate milk and meat consumption stagnated in the developed world, where saturation levels of consumption have been reached and population growth is small. Whether these trends will continue was explored in 1998 with the International Food Policy Research Institute's (IFPRI) International Model for Policy Analysis of Agricultural Commodities and Trade (IMPACT), a global food model.[4,5]

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