One of FAO’s greatest strengths is its partnerships. They are the foundation of its effectiveness as a global organization, providing resources and reach the organization cannot achieve on its own.
FAO believes that no institution can succeed alone in the fight against hunger and poverty and is strongly committed to further developing its partnership network.
If global development goals are to be achieved, it is essential that key stakeholders, including civil society, cooperatives, member states, intergovernmental organizations, food movements, financial institutions, academia, foundations, and research institutions work together. Partnerships not only enhance FAO’s work in agriculture, fishery, forestry and natural resource management, they are vital to its success and crucial to the organization’s ability to address the food value chain from farm to fork.
The livestock sector is vast and diverse. Livestock are immensely important to global food security, health and the environment. The sector contributes to about 43 percent of the world's agricultural Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which in some countries accounts for 83 percent of national GDP. Importantly, the livestock sector is also growing rapidly to satisfy a vigorously expanding demand for animal food products.
This growth has the potential to achieve important socio-economic benefits, including improved livelihoods, steady economic development, strengthened, higher quality food security and more balanced nutrition requirements.
The livestock sector also contributes to resilience, since livestock help people cope with natural disasters and civil strife by providing a source of food, draught power, emergency savings and even transport. However, the expansion of the sector is continuously threatened by biological and abiotic hazards that have the potential to spread along the entire food chain. These include:
(i) disease transmission from livestock to humans;
(ii) the eroding genetic diversity of livestock populations;
(iii) environmental issues and contribution to climate change;
(iv) a lack of innovative technologies to support smallholder farmers; and
(v) a lack of adequate feed supplies often leading to overgrazing.
Partnerships are essential if FAO is to successfully overcome these challenges and support the livestock sector’s continuing and vital contribution to global food security.