Approximating the global economic (market) value of farmed animals

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Understanding the global economic importance of farmed animals to society is essential as a baseline for decision-making about future food systems.

Researchers with the Global Burden of Animal Diseases programme have estimated the annual global economic (market) value of live animals and primary production outputs, for example, meat, eggs, milk, from terrestrial and aquatic farmed animal systems.

Their study findings are published in Global Food Security (Dec 2023).

The authors of the study are affiliated with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, Cornell University, the International Livestock Research Institute, Kansas State University, Murdoch University, Newcastle University, University of Edinburgh, University of Guelph, University of Liverpool,  University of Zurich and Washington State University.

The results suggest that the total global market value of farmed animals ranges between 1.61 and 3.3 trillion United States dollars (USD) (2018) and is expected to be similar in absolute terms to the market value of crop outputs (USD 2.57 trillion).

The cattle sector dominates the market value of farmed animals.

The study highlights the need to consider other values of farmed animals to society, for example, finance/insurance value and cultural value, in decisions about the future of the livestock sector.

Schrobback, P., Dennis, G., Li, Y., Mayberry, D., Shaw, A., Knight-Jones, T., Marsh, T.L., Pendell, D.L., Torgerson, P.R., Gilbert, W., Huntington, B., Raymond, K., Stacey, D.A., Bernardo, T., Bruce, M., McIntyre, K.M., Rushton, J. and Herrero, M. 2023. Approximating the global economic (market) value of farmed animals. Global Food Security 39: 100722.

Photo credit: Menz sheep grazing on communal grazing area (Bioversity/Frederik Winfried Oberthür)

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