Livestock farming embedded in local development:
a functional perspective to alleviate vulnerability of farming communities

2011, April 2 - 3, Rosario (Argentina)
IX International Rangeland Congress

Rationale for workshop

Farming communities worldwide are vulnerable and face uncertain futures. This workshop examineshow livestock farming is embedded in local development from both a theoretical and operational perspective and in turn enhances the functional integrity of the agro social ecosystem.

Industrialization and rationalization of production systems is the dominant agricultural developmentparadigm. Under existing market and policies conditions its aims is to optimize the use of resources for environmental (mitigation and adaption to climatic changes and energy scarcity) and socioeconomic factors (provision of food for consumption and revenues from the farming enterprise. All around the world, the dominant paradigm does not alleviate the household vulnerability: it selectsfarmers in relation to their capacity to engage and maintain their farm in the industrialization path, to face risks and to contribute to sustainability through high productivity levels according to a resource sufficiency point of view. Vulnerability of individual farms is, thus related to insufficient resource maintenance or to inefficient resource management weakening the life conditions of the producers, especially their income. In this context, Liflod Network (Livestock Farming and Local Development Network: see appendix 1) propose to consider another theoretical perspective – that of preserving the capacity for resilience of the agro social ecosystem as an alternate development paradigm. The “functional integrity” approach of sustainability stresses the vulnerability arising from a lack of understanding of the systemic interaction of production practices and innovations with the processes of ecological and social renewal. The local territorial level is considered critical in the definition of the agro socio- ecosystem interactions and dynamics. The policy strategies emerging emphasize the preservation of the capacity for resilience, the avoidance of irreversible effects and systemic understandings designed to mitigate unintended consequences. The issue is therefore, one of forestalling irreversible changes in an agro socio-ecosystem while pursuing better understanding of critical trajectory-changing points (see appendix 2 for further details on functional integrity approaches).


The objective of the workshop is to increase our understanding of how livestock farming can contribute to the functional integrity of local agro socio- ecosystem leading in to the consideration of what dimensions of livestock farming are embedded in the local system (production but other functions: savings, food for consumption, buffer; practices of local resources use and renewal; knowledge and knowhow; individual and collective organizations; leisure, human-animal relationships; traditions, rules, policies and other institutions) and how they interact with local development.

The Exhibitors will deal the following questions

1-How can livestock farming contribute to reducing the vulnerability of the livestock farmer population and how to build vibrant rural communities by valorising local resources (natural, social...)?

2. How to assess the contribution of livestock farming to local / territorial development notably through the importance of the different functions it fulfils? These functions are linked: to practices and their impact on land; to ecological services that are rendered by livestock farming; to household activity systems; to typified products; to agrarian culture and to landscapes. These factors constitute resources for sustainable development. How do to the social forms and techniques of livestock use and their diversity build these functions? How could this help to build new adaptive capacity from farm to consumer?

3. How and under what conditions or contexts does livestock farming (even if it is just a fragment of agrarian history) contribute to local sustainable development?

4. What is the role played by systems developed by States and institutions that guarantee income security or satisfaction of primary needs (food, health, education)?


Liflod Network (Livestock Farming and Local Development) - Results and Prospects after the Rosario Workshop (Workshop of the 9th International Rangeland Congress, 2011)


Which specific indicators for monitor the vulnerability of the Sahelian pastoral systems.

Sustainability assessment of pastoral systems and their contribution to the one of territories.

Crop-livestock integration: a landscape approach in Southern Mali.

Long term dynamics of sheep farming systems in a pastoral region of Southern France.

Livestock Farming embedded in Local Development: a functional perspective to alleviate vulnerability of farming communities.

French Livestock Farm Networks - A system at the centre of French farming development.

GRZING BEHAVIOR and ENERGY EXPENDITURE of grazing yak in Qinghai - Tibetan Plateau.

Livestock and food security in the Sahel Region and in West Africa.

Rethinking the role of sheep in local development of Patagonia.

Assessing and rewarding environmental services from the livestock sector.

The contribution of small ruminants in alleviating poverty in arid regions of Egypt.

Social sustainability of livestock farms. The Basaltic Region Case – Uruguay.

Developing livestock integrated systems at landscape level in tropical areas: comparison between three case studies in Africa and Brazil.

Livestock Production Dynamics and Tibetan Rangeland Ecosystem Services.

Small cattlemen facing to globalization in argentinean Pampa.


Roles of small ruminants in the improving rural livelihood – Case study in Egypt.

Enhancing the resilience and adaptive capacities of livestock farmers to climatic variability and extreme events in the Sahel and Savannah regions of West and Central Africa.

Key points to face livestock farming as a human activity contributing to rural development.

Special Areas.

Enhancing Livestock Farming Contribution to Local Development Sessions 3 & 4

Between opportunism and persistence: milk production perspectives in Brazilian Amazon Region and links with local development.


General discussion

Assessing livestock farming functions to sustainable development - Session 6

Extensive livestock farming in Morocco: from marginal territories to major social and environmental roles.

Holistic approach as a tool for rangeland sustainable management in the Sahel : lessons from Senegal.

Vulnerability of family livestock farming in Brazil and Uruguay: a comparative analysis in the Livramento – Rivera border.