Approximately 2.5 billion people (nearly 40% of the global population) rely on small-scale agriculture for their livelihoods. And the perception that these smallholders are largely subsistence farmers is false. Approximately 70% of all food produced in the world comes from small-scale agriculture. Smallholders are therefore a driving force in feeding the world.
But smallholders in the developing world are typically poor. In Tanzania, 43% of those in rural areas live on less than $1.25 a day. The wealth that smallholders do have is often in livestock. The average livestock holding for a Tanzanian smallholder is 11 chickens, five goats and four cattle. This is equivalent to over $1,500 (a chicken is typically worth $3, a goat $46 and a non-dairy cow $310).
Livestock, therefore, represents a highly valued and productive asset that is used by poor rural people to fund many of life’s basic needs such as:
In this way livestock represents a great opportunity for improved livelihoods for hundreds of millions of smallholders. It is for this reason that GALVmed works towards developing the vaccines and the markets that enable smallholders to better feed the world while bettering themselves.