Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Poultry in the 21st Century, An International Conference, Bangkok 5-7 November 2007
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Poultry in the 21st Century

Bangkok 5-7 November 2007

Approximately 100 participants from across the world participated in the FAO sponsored International Conference entitled “Poultry in the 21st Century – Avian Influenza and Beyond”. All sectors of the poultry industry were represented including multinational corporations, poultry breeding companies, international agencies, as well as research, development and NGO communities. It was this unique ‘coming together’ of key stakeholders in the poultry sector that made this conference so stimulating and valuable.
The objective of the conference was to review the global poultry sector in its entirety, to assess past developments, the current situation as well as to explore options for its future. Special attention was given to the social, environmental and health implications of sector change and on policy adjustments required addressing such change. Thematically it was separated into three sessions: Sector trends and impacts; Risks and challenges; and Poultry as a development tool – each with plenary contributions, round-tables and working groups.

The Director of FAO’s Animal Production and Health Division, Dr Samuel Jutzi, summarized the conclusions of the conference:

The conference noted the very strong poultry sector dynamics at the global scale (growth, consolidation, structural change, trade flows); this confirms the sector as possibly the most dynamic and most globalized agricultural sub-sector. Sector growth is primarily demand-driven. The sector is likely to look very different in the future. It faces considerable and multiple challenges which concern public health (i.a. HPAI H5N1), social objectives such as poverty alleviation and gender equity, and environmental threats. The task ahead is multi-factorial and requires inputs of a diversity of disciplines and the engagement of all relevant stakeholders.
 While the evidence from research shows that smallholders are not always less efficient than large-scale enterprises in market production, they tend to be at a disadvantage in the context of traceability and quality / safety compliance as well as in government-led disease prevention measures. More detailed studies are required of the competitiveness of smallholder poultry production and its determinants so as to assess the viability of these units and pathways for possible upgrading and upscaling.
 The assessment of the enormously dynamic growth and structural change of the commercial poultry sector in many countries needs to take into account the large differences both between and among countries, with non-commercial or informally commercial systems often persisting and coexisting with large and medium-scale operations. The determinants and dynamics of system changes deserve more analysis for risk management particularly in public health and social objective terms.

Photo: Olaf Thieme
For further information please contact:

Olaf Thieme
FAO HQ, Room C-583
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
Rome 00153, Italy
Tel: +39 06 570 55418
olaf.thieme@fao.org