In developing countries, urbanization and associated demographic changes are posing unprecedented challenges related to hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition. Livestock and crop systems in cities in Africa and Asia, where urbanization is occurring most quickly, will come to face significant adjustment pressures, since poverty will increasingly become urbanized, demand for urban food will grow and cities will exert greater influence on peri-urban and rural livelihoods and environments. In developing countries, the contribution of livestock production systems (LPSs) to the food security of the poor and under-nourished groups is well documented. Acquisition of livestock is widely recognized as a pathway out of poverty, a major income generating activity, a financial instrument, and a means of income diversification. Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in many developing countries would therefore depend greatly on the ability of developing countries to build more sustainable and resilient crop and LPS that foster food security to meet the needs of the increasing population pressure.
Nevertheless, urbanization and the expansion of the geographic extent of cities and other related environmental challenges have substantially changed the landscape and the complexity of livestock production and added further challenges to LPSs. On the one hand, livestock supply will increasingly be affected by competition for natural resources, competition between food and feed and by the need to operate in a carbon- constrained economy. Moreover, intensive livestock production has been developing and expanding closer to urban centers, creating several problems including increase in land and water pollution to unacceptable levels and effects on the health of both humans and animals. On the other, urbanization has a considerable impact on patterns and on demand for livestock source food (LSF). Urbanization often stimulates demand for LSF since it involves improvements in infrastructure that allows perishable goods to be traded more widely, and changes in food consumption patterns and habits. Thus, a shift from a predominantly vegetable-based diet to one that includes a greater amount LSF has been seen over the last few decades in many developing countries, resulting in an enormously increasing demand for LSF. Accordingly, there has been increasing uncertainties about how LPSs might evolve to meet the increased demand for LSF, and what the impacts will be on food production and urban food security.
From a policy-making perspective, it is surprisingly that LPSs in developing countries have so far been seen by policymakers and planners as merely playing a supporting role to food security. Particularly, the impacts and implications of urbanization on LPSs have received spare attention within urban planning and food security strategies. This is neglecting the above-mentioned contributions of LPSs to food security as well as the fact that the livestock sector contributes significantly to agricultural gross domestic product and employment. From a scholarly literature perspective, a critical look at existing studies on urbanization and agricultural systems in developing countries shows that research related to LPSs and how they evolve under urbanization dynamics has so far received little attention. Existing studies focus chiefly on “crop” production systems whereas research on “livestock” remains comparatively scant. Moreover, the primary results of an ongoing systematic literature review, carried out by researchers from the Department of Economics at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, show that few studies have looked at urban spaces and processes of urbanization in relation to LPSs. Specially, less attention is paid to urban or peri-urban areas even as contextually relevant to LPSs or related food security issues. Food security is predominantly constructed as an issue of rural spaces. In addition, when urban contexts are discussed, they often appear peripherally such as developments of market demands, in which the issue of food security continues to be a concern for the rural ‘production site’.
Aim of the workshop
Against this background, the workshop aims at bringing together researchers and stakeholders from diverse disciplines and sectors who are working in areas related to livestock, urban planning, agricultural systems and food security in developing countries to discuss and define research priorities for building more sustainable LPSs. The workshop will provide a platform for participants to exchange ideas, present current research, discuss challenges, initiate future research collaborations, and create and grow a community of interest within urbanizing livestock systems.
Professor. Eric Fèvre, Chair of Veterinary Infectious Diseases at the Institute of Infection and Global Health at the University of Liverpool and the International Livestock Research Institute has confirmed his participation in the workshop. Other speakers will be added to the program as soon as their participation is confirmed
Under the theme of this workshop, the following topics will addressed:
▪ Stocktaking the state of knowledge with respect to LPSs in urbanizing environments in developing countries.
▪ Identification and conceptualization of emerging challenges for LPSs.
▪ Interface between LPSs, resource use (land, animals, plants and humans) and urban food security.
▪ Good livestock management practices and trends in animal health, food safety and animal welfare.
▪ Urban livestock systems as a potential hazard to public health and the role of urbanization in the emergence of zoonotic pathogens.
▪ Recycling of excess nutrients from animal wastes for crop production in environmental-friendly land-based animal production systems.
▪ Processes, actions, policies that need to be changed or implemented to build sustainable livestock production in developing countries.
The above list is simply intended to serve as a guideline. We welcome ideas that span across categories or do not correspond directly to those outlined.
▪ Authors are invited to submit an Extended Abstract (maximum 2 A4 pages) reporting: (a) a concept note for planned research; (b) original research of theoretical or applied nature; (c) review studies. Longer submissions will not be considered.
▪ The abstracts must be written in in English and include title, keywords and a summary highlighting the scope of the work including the primary results and findings if applicable. Furthermore, the abstracts should emphasize the novelty of the work so that the workshop committee will be able to understand the originality and the value of the work.
▪ A submission implies willingness to register and present the work if the paper is accepted for presentation at the workshop.
▪ The template for extended abstracts can be found here.
▪ Abstracts should be submitted electronically via email to email@example.com
▪ Extended abstract deadline (Minimum 2 Pages) by January 15, 2019
▪ Acceptance/Rejection Notifications by January 30, 2019
▪ Registration and payment deadline: accepted papers will be included in the program only if at least one author will register and pay the registration fee by February 15, 2019
Publication of selected papers
Authors of selected papers from the workshop will be invited to revise and submit full-text versions of their presented papers to a special issue of a relevant peer-reviewed journal.
Funding of participants
Thanks to financial support from AgriFoSe, the workshop committee will be able to support a limited number of participants who would not otherwise be able to attend the workshop. Funds will include international air-fare, ground transportation and lodging. Please request travel assistance in your on-line registration. Those who have requested travel assistance will be notified of their status by approximately January 31, 2019.
All information will be dispensed via the Participant email list. Please sign up at to firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions regarding the Call for Proposals process and registration, please contact Dr. Assem Abu Hatab via email at email@example.com.
The workshop will be held at the campus of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Ultuna, Uppsala. Final meeting room locations will be available on the agenda closer to meeting time.
Picture credit: SLU