Responding to rising global demand for meat, some developing countries have adopted Western-style intensive livestock production systems. This approach is epitomized by concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), in which hundreds or thousands of animals are reared in small spaces, fed on grain instead of being allowed to forage. ... Worldwide, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimated in 2006 that 80 percent of growth in the livestock industry came from industrial production systems.
“All of the demand growth for meat today is in low- and middle-income countries, so we need to keep their perspectives in mind as we work to modernize the livestock sector,” says McDermott. “Smallholder systems in Asia and Africa will be with us for at least several more generations. We can’t expect poor countries not to have livestock, so we need pro-poor solutions to these challenges.”