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A critical indicator: livestock's contribution to gross domestic product (Inglês)

The size of livestock's contribution to agricultural value added as well as to the gross domestic product (GDP), is a commonly quoted measure of livestock’s role in the national economy. Value added is defined as the value of the output of a sector minus the value of all intermediate inputs. The increase in number of animals is represented by both fixed capital formation (animals that are inputs into the production process), and by work-in-progress animals ( those reared for slaughter and young animals reared to become fixed assets). Livestock products include meat, milk, eggs, hides and skins and other by-products, such as manure, hides and skins, fat, offal, honey, transport services, etc. Intermediate inputs comprise animal feed/fodder and water; animal health services, vaccines, medicines and dips; fuel and electricity; and repairs and maintenance. Outputs are valued at farm-gate prices that reflect the value of goods for the producers. Intermediate inputs are valued at prices that are effectively paid by the producers. Arriving at appropriate measure of the value added of livestock is challenging, particularly where farm animals serve multiple purposes. To estimate livestock value added, data are needed on livestock population and trends, which are influenced by fertility and mortality. To estimate production, quarterly data is required on the number of animals slaughtered with specific livestock technical conversion factors. For meat, a carcass weight is assigned for each animal slaughtered. For milk, the yield per cow is required, while for poultry the number of eggs produced over the accounting period is estimated. Ad hoc data collection and direct measurement are the most appropriate tools to estimate technical conversion factors, but in many circumstances, these coefficients are derived from the literature, from expert opinions or from neighboring countries. Production of non- food livestock products, such as that of manure, is often not estimated at all because of lack of data. To calculate intermediate consumption, information is needed on the quantity and price of inputs used in the production process. Lack of census or survey data greatly impedes the ability to estimate livestock value added. Governments need to ensure consistent estimation techniques are used across sectors. Within this framework, more accurate estimates of livestock value added would be facilitated by: (a) targeted changes in surveys which are regularly undertaken by country governments; (b) selected improvement in the collection of routine livestock; (c) the integration between different sources of data and, and (d) the use of specialized livestock surveys.

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