Due to changes in livestock sector and raise of consumer demand for comprehensive and integrated food security and safety, there has been a concern to use of farm data in enhancing animal traceability and decision making by farmers and other decision makers in livestock sector. To ensure high production through effective decision making and high standards that can be proven by audits, producers are required to have a better traceability and records system. Therefore, this study aimed at (1) Reviewing the current recording/data management and animal traceability system used by small scale farmers in developing countries and identifying its weakness (2) Finding out how data management system should be designed to enhance efficiency decision making and animal traceability from farm to fork. This study noted that, still majority of small scale farmers do not keep records leading to poor decision making on the farm and in policy making. However, for some who do keep records, their data are not in electronic format, which again poses another challenge in data analysis. In addition to that, despite of the understanding that records keeping without analytical tools has no value to decision makers; yet, very few studies have been dedicated on this. Moreover, this study noted that majority of traceability tools used by farmers in developing countries do not meet international standards and based on tools they used for tracing animals such as branding and ear tag provide very little information about the animal. This also is not acceptable to international market as a consumer needs to know more about the animal e.g. information about feeding and animal health. Also this study recommended a better electronic system to be used at farm level to facilitate data analysis hence decision making and international animal traceability system. Otherwise, there is a need of researchers to conduct more studies in developing different analytical models for exploring on farm data for improving decision making by farmers and others like policy makers.
Keywords: Data, Decision-making, Traceability, Policy making, Livestock