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Full house at global feed and food congress in Bangkok week

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A busy week of animal agribusiness events in Bangkok, Thailand, began with the 6th Global Feed & Food Congress (GFFC) before the opening of VIV Asia 2019. GFFC’s theme: The future of feed and food – are we ready?

Dr. Berhe Tekola of UN-FAO reminded delegates of the challenges ahead. By 2030 the world’s population is expected to be one billion or 13% more than today, with six people in every 10 living in a town or city. The combination of population and urbanisation with income growth has already fuelled the global demand for meat, milk and eggs, especially in low and middle income countries, and consumption is foreseen to continue increasing. Global production levels in 2030 could be 19% higher for meat and 33% higher for milk compared with the average annual amounts in 2015-2017. 

Note, said Dr. Tekola, about 80% of this increase will take place in developing economies. “The growth of the livestock sector comes with opportunities, but also raises concerns such as over food and nutrition security, public health, animal health and welfare, and the environment, as well as climate change and natural resource use,” he cautioned. “This congress has convened to discuss feed and food. Growth of the livestock sector will require more feed, which will fuel the debate on the contribution of feed production to greenhouse gas emissions and on feed-food competition.” 

But the extent to which feed competes with food is small, Dr. Tekola explained. At a global level, human-edible feed materials represent only 14% of the total livestock feed ration, meaning that 86% of what livestock eat is not edible for humans. Thanks to the animals, this is being converted to edible and highly nutritious food of animal origin --- milk, meat, and eggs.

The packed congress heard from American professor Ermias Kebreab how solutions could come from unexpected directions. He referred to California research demonstrating a 30-60% reduction in the emission of methane by dairy...

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Posted in: VIV Asia