GFAR blog

Livestock counts


This week marked a milestone for the Committee on World Food Security (CFS).  For the first time since its reform, it recognised the role of livestock in addressing malnutrition, sustainable agriculture and climate change.

Two years ago CFS asked the High Level Panel of Experts to prepare a report on sustainable agricultural development for food security and nutrition, including the role of livestock. The report was presented and endorsed at the 43rd plenary session of the CFS in Rome this week and many of members took the stage to state their positions in regards its recommendations.

The extensive discussions taking place these days around the topic of sustainable livestock production and nutrition highlight just how complex the issues are.  Until just a few years ago the word ‘livestock’ brought to my mind a simple picture of a cow. Discussion on livestock at this week’s CFS plenary sessions and side events ranged from consumption of livestock related agricultural products to the role of women in livestock management.

It is interesting that there is a consensus as to the importance of the sector, and how much the production of livestock counts for in the global agriculture sector (one third of the whole sector according to the report). There is also agreement that this sector has suffered a serious lack of atention in the past decades. The increasing role of livestock in feeding the world is now recognized by governments, academia, civil society, private sector and UN agencies.

According to some forecasts, the demand for animal protein, milk and eggs will rise by 50% by 2020. This demand has not only led to increased production but has also supported major technological innovations and structural changes in the sector, although not necessarily assuring a good or stable income for farmers.

However, there are real differences in approach as to the types of production and the impact of the sector on climate change, human and animal nutrition, and land use, intensification of production, animal feed demand, cultural identity, traditional practices, and values.

And there I was thinking about one cow!

Read the full post on the CFS blog here.



Blogpost by Ksenija Simovic – #CFS43 Social Reporter:  ksenijasimovic(at)
Photo credit: Dominik Schraudolf on Pixabay

This post is part of the live coverage during the 43rd Session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS), a project GFAR is running in collaboration with CFS. This post is written by one of our social reporters, and represents the author’s views only. 

1 thought on “Livestock counts”

  1. Livestock counts so much, grateful appreaciation comes from Karamoja to all those who stood firm to defend and talk more about livestock particularly pastoralism. East Africa was well represented by COPACSO civil society Organization standing with partners in pastoral areas. Pstoralists are smart and they are only surviving on their own in drylands left by farmers.

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