Scores of international experts, including government officials, researchers and industry leaders from several continents, gathered at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Headquarters in Rome for the two-day Global Forum for Animal Feed and Feed Regulators.
The Forum focuses on a sector that generates more than $400 billion in annual commercial turnover and produces more than one billion tons of livestock feed, a key input for animal health, human nutrition and environmental sustainability.
“Feeding animals well will feed the world better”
The livestock sector must transform along with other elements of global agrifood systems to be more efficient, more inclusive, more resilient, and more sustainable, to the benefit of people and the planet, FAO Director-General QU Dongyu said in opening remarks at the Forum.
A critical pathway is ensuring the availability, accessibility, quality and safety of animal feed, which will require concrete actions ranging from the management and restoration of grasslands and pastures to the production of fodder and feed ingredients and the processing and use of compound feed, all of which will require appropriate policies and regulations, he added. “Feeding animals well will feed the world better,” Qu said.
Shifting gears to action
“We already know many of the solutions,” the Director-General told participants. Feed typically constitutes between 60 percent and 80 percent of livestock production costs. Globally, commercial production or sale of feed takes place in more than 130 countries and some 8 000 plants turn out more than 600 million tonnes of feed annually. Another 300 million comes from on-farm production.
Improving feeding with balanced rations and the efficient use of locally available feed resources can significantly boost profitability. The feed industry could contribute to the bio economy by increasing the use of by-products and residues from food processing and other stages of agrifood systems value chains. In addition, with 40 percent of global arable land used to feed livestock, there is a major opportunity to improve the sustainability of agrifood systems by optimizing land use.
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)