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Livestock institute leader Jimmy Smith makes the case for sustainable livestock development—Food Tank webinar


Jimmy Smith, director general of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI),
in a webinar today hosted by Food Tank, presented the case for sustainable livestock development
in low- and middle-income countries helping the world achieve food and nutritional security.

We believe that smallholder production systems,
which are in transition, can contribute significantly
to achieving global food and nutritional security
while at the same time benefitting the environment. 

Whilst the livestock sector has the potential to play major roles environmentally, socially and economically in sustainable food systems in the coming decades, its potential is all too-often misunderstood or overlooked, for a number of reasons. This intervention highlights the diversity of the sector and the corresponding diversity of ways that, with appropriate research and development support, as well as innovations to take solutions to scale, animal agriculture is crucial, perhaps essential, for the future food systems of over nine billion.

Demand for livestock commodities is rising rapidly. By 2050 it is estimated that the world’s total dairy requirement will double (compared to 2005)—to almost 1 billion tonnes per year 2050, meat demand will rise from 258 to some 450 million tonnes each year. Demand for monogastric foods (pork and poultry meat and eggs) will increase at least four-fold depending on sub-region.

Almost all the demand will take place in low- and middle-income economies where some 70% of today’s milk, meat and egg production is in the hands of smallholders. Herein lies the opportunity, and one not to be missed, to ensure that a transition of production to meet demand is also a positive transition for people, their livelihoods and the environment.

The webinar took place Wednesday 19 Oct 2016 from 12pm to 1pm ET.
A 15-minute question-and-answer session followed Smith’s 20-minute slide presentation.

About Jimmy Smith
Jimmy Smith, a Canadian, is director general of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), a position he assumed in October 2011. Before joining ILRI, he worked for the World Bank, in Washington, DC, where he led the Bank’s Global Livestock Portfolio. Before joining the World Bank, he held senior positions at the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). Still earlier in his career, Smith worked at ILRI and its predecessor, the International Livestock Centre for Africa (ILCA), where he served as the institute’s regional representative for West Africa and subsequently managed the ILRI-led Systemwide Livestock Programme of the CGIAR, an association of 10 CGIAR centres working at the crop-livestock interface. Before his decade of work at ILCA/ILRI, Smith held senior positions in the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI). Smith was born in Guyana, in the Caribbean, where he was raised on a small mixed crop-and-livestock farm. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urban-Champaign, USA, where he completed a PhD in animal sciences. He is widely published, with more than 100 publications, including papers in refereed journals, book chapters, policy papers and edited proceedings.

Watch and listen to Smith’s presentation: Does animal agriculture have a role in future food systems? 19 Oct 2016.

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