2. Main challenges
In order to improve investments in animal resources and capture market opportunities open to African animal producers a range of issues and challenges must be addressed. These include:
- How to choose the best investments in key animal resources based on economic growth, poverty alleviation, food security and gender.
- How to put together effective, evidence-based advocacy using available data and information to create awareness among policy-makers at national and regional levels, and to get national governments to commit and honour increasing budgetary allocations to animal resources development.
- How to improve performance of public animal resources investment at regional and national levels and promote private sector investments.
- How to improve product quality, consistency and quality assurance arrangements (including standardization, classification and attention to SPS issues) at the producer, national and regional levels.
- How to link actors along the value chain, so that demand for specific products of animal origin is efficiently and effectively met by producers and value-addition operators.
- How to level 'the playing field' in international markets to create new openings for African exports, but recognizing that the priority has to be the massive African market.
With regard to investments in animal resources, there is growing awareness by African governments that the Livestock Revolution is real and provides opportunities to use animal resources as a pathway to poverty reduction, while generating additional foreign revenue and facilitating the substitution of the current significant imports of animal products by many African countries.
The specific opportunities include:
- Increased and diversified consumer demand for animal resources products in local and regional markets.
- Evidence for successful and sustainable commercialization of certain livestock enterprises and poverty alleviation benefits from such investments.
- Evidence that some countries and the AUC are committed to investments in animal resources as a wealth creation tool.
- Acceptance by African governments of initiatives to lower barriers to intra- and inter-regional trade in animal resources and animal products.
- Growing recognition by Member States of the potential role of animal products in foreign revenue generation and import substitution.
- Emergence of private sector interests in investments in livestock and fish farming, including provision of services and credit facilities.
- Access to EU markets through the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA).