Livestock produce, such as milk, meat, eggs and their various by-products, make their way to domestic and international markets through a complex series of stakeholders and channels. Stakeholders in these livestock production chains have to respond jointly to the changes brought on by technological advancements. They also have to deal with an ever-increasing number of national and international laws and regulations, such as those governing international food-quality standards and sustainability labels.
As primary producers are affected by international trade agreements, small-scale livestock production can no longer be seen in isolation from such developments. This makes it essential for chain actors to keep up with international trade agreements and anticipate the opportunities or challenges they bring, as well as keep up with the latest developments in the sector and use them to their advantage.
The Livestock Chains specialisation teaches students to examine each actor in the chain (including suppliers, farmers, processors, traders, retailers and consumers). Students also learn how to analyse the different stages from input to processing from various perspectives, such as business economics, logistics, quality control, certification, sustainability, marketing channels and information flows.
The Livestock Chains modules integrate management skills and, by addressing innovative, entrepreneurial and institutional aspects of agriculture, demonstrate how changes in demand and policies at local, national and international levels can be anticipated. Students will thus enhance their ability to manage, facilitate and innovate within the livestock sector. A nine-month taught programme is followed by a three-month thesis research project, in which students will conduct their own research.
Graduates are able to facilitate actors and supporters in the chain in making business linkages. By mainstreaming the concept of a value chain, graduates may empower chain partners to improve livestock value chains. In a highly-developing sector and an increasingly globalised and interconnected world, graduates can assist organisations and government agencies in the chain in keeping pace with the latest international developments in the livestock sector and nations as a whole.
If you are a mid-career livestock professional in the public or private sector involved in agri-business, management or consultancy, regional development policies or projects, research or lecturing at a higher educational institute, we invite you to apply for this specialisation.