About this Research Topic
Food insecurity and a food production crisis loom in the future as worldwide human population is expected to grow from 7.3 to 9.6 billion by 2030. The highest rate of population growth is expected to be in the African continent which is expected to account for half of the world population by 2050. As a result, it is estimated that global food production will increase by 70% by 2050 to meet the needs of that growth which is expected to concentrate in developing countries. Most of the projected increase in global food demand is expected to come from the growing incomes in Asian, Latin America, African and Eastern European countries. The term Livestock Revolution (an analogy of the green revolution) has been coined to refer to the increased demand for livestock products as a source of protein as a results of population and income growth as well as urbanization. As a result of that increase in global meat and milk consumption of 68% and 57% respectively, are projected by 2030. As one of the fastest growing subsectors in agriculture, livestock support the livelihoods of 600 million poor smallholder farmers in the low input systems around the world. Therefore, increasing animal production would, not only help meet the expected demand, but is also an insurance policy and sustainable income for vulnerable communities of livestock owners.
However, increasing animal production brings with it some negative impacts. For example, it raises the opportunity of zoonotic diseases outbreaks (such as COVID19 and avian flu), increases soil and water pollution and deforestation. While in the developed world, much research has been done and implemented in increasing livestock efficiency through environmental and genetic improvement, such research faces several challenges in the developing world, where low input production is common.
This Research Topic touches on the various aspects of production systems, genomic selection, population genetics, phenotypic characterization and animal breeding strategies in livestock in low input systems. Local livestock in low input systems are more adapted to local environments and exert better resilient to local pathogens and environmental conditions. However, the genetics behind such adaptation is not well understood and requires detailed investigation. A commonly reported disadvantage of local breeds/livestock is their low productivity. Nevertheless, there are success stories of increasing local livestock productivity through the development production systems and animal improvement programs that are suitable for smallholders in low input systems. Such stories can be shared and benefitted from by other low input systems.
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.