Thursday, February 18, 2010

The State of Food and Agriculture

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations released a report on creating a more sustainable livestock sector.

From their press release:
The report stresses that livestock is essential to the livelihoods of around one billion poor people. Livestock provides income, high-quality food, fuel, draught power, building material and fertilizer, thus contributing to food security and nutrition. For many small-scale farmers, livestock also provides an important safety net in times of need.

But the agency stressed the need for substantial investments and stronger institutions at global, regional, national and local levels, to ensure that continued growth of the livestock sector contributes to livelihoods, meets growing consumer demand and mitigates environmental and health concerns.

"The rapid transition of the livestock sector has been taking place in an institutional void," said FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf in the foreword of the report. "The issue of governance is central. Identifying and defining the appropriate role of government, in its broadest sense, is the cornerstone on which future development of the livestock sector must build."
The report stresses the balance needed between livelihoods, food security (issues more predominant for developing nations) and human health and the environment (issues more focused on by post-industrialized nations). They also have some great graphics that help paint the picture.

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