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Animal productivity

Animal productivity is the total sum of products and services from animals. In the context of sustainable intensification, the efficiency of that production is important, for example, the amount of land required to produce the feed for the animals. Though there are dozens of species of animals raised for various purposes, the great majority of products are derived from the primary livestock species: cattle, pigs, sheep, goats and poultry. Analyses focusing on other species are certainly possible and may be essential in some contexts.


Smallholder farmers value livestock for uses beyond their productivity. In many contexts, farmers rely on livestock for savings, insurance, social prestige, and cultural functions (Dorward et al., 2005), which are beyond the production metrics listed above. This needs to be considered when evaluating SI technologies. The savings and insurance uses relate to risk and reducing consumption variability, which relates to the economic domain. The social prestige use of livestock could be detected through participatory wealth ranking (described in the economic domain). Cultural functions of livestock may be assessed through the social cohesion indicator in the social domain. Detailed methods for implementing a “Species by Function Matrix” and a “Function Priority and Preliminary Indicator Matrix” are provided in Dorward et al. (2005).

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