A4NH / Agri-Health / Agriculture / Animal Production / Asia / Event / ILRI / Livestock / Zoonotic Diseases

Livestock challenges and opportunities in Asia discussed at regional policy forum

Increasing livestock production to meet rapidly growing demands in a socially equitable and ecologically sustainable manner has become major challenge for the Asia-Pacific region. To discuss these challenges and to outline elements of a response, FAO, together with ILRI, IFPRI and other partners organized a Regional Policy Forum in Bangkok on 16-17 August 2012.

Asia and the Pacific region has been the strongest growing region for milk and meat over the last two to three decades. Total consumption of meat in the region has grown from 50 million tonnes to 120 million tonnes between 1980 and 2010. Comparable figures for milk were 54 and 190 million tonnes. By 2050, the consumption of meat and milk in the region is projected to cross 220 and 440 million tonnes respectively. While this growth can potentially create new opportunities for farmers and provide more affordable and healthier diets for future generations, managing this growth also requires a complex institutional response that can stimulate income and employment opportunities in the rural areas, protect the livelihoods of small farmers, improve resource use efficiency at all levels of the value chain, minimize negative environmental and health consequences, and ensure adequate access by the poorer sections of society to the food they need to live healthy lives.

To discuss and debate these issues, promote collaboration and knowledge exchange among relevant national and international  agencies and to discover the ways of addressing future challenges, FAO, together with ILRI, IFPRI and other partners organized the Regional Livestock Policy Forum at Royal Orchid Sheraton hotel in Bangkok on 16-17 Aug 2012. The forum was attended by about 80 participants comprising stakeholders from governments, national and international research agencies, civil society organizations, multilateral institutions, think tanks, private sector and regional and global networks. The forum provided a platform to share experiences, debate issues of key concern and to provide guidance for the nature of required policy response in different countries and growth scenarios.

Three keynote addresses highlighted environmental, social and health aspects of uncontrolled livestock sector growth and a number of presentations covered good practices and ongoing initiatives from a grass roots level perspective. Three thematic panel discussions were organized to further elaborate on selected key issues.

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The Conference Proceedings will be made available on the APHCA website in the coming months. The presentations made at the meeting, the detailed program and a list of participants is available online

Original story by: Vinod Ahuja, Livestock Policy Officer, FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (RAP)

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