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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Core Messages

  • The poultry sector is growing and industrialising in many parts of the world, but continues to be very diverse in structural terms. There are and continue to be also traditional small-scale, rural, family-based poultry systems which play a crucial role in sustaining livelihoods and importantly supporting women farmers. As long as there will be rural poverty, poultry will be there to offer opportunities for income generation and quality human nutrition. The assumption that modern, commercial industrial poultry production will lead to the disappearance of smallholder poultry production everywhere is possibly erroneous. Twin- or even multi-track poultry development is the likely pathway for the foreseeable future in many conditions.

  • The poultry sector is associated with considerable public health risks as exemplified by the HPAI H5N1 crisis. Adjustments in the way poultry is produced and marketed are required and feasible across the entire spectrum of the commercial poultry sector - from small to large. Biosecurity is in principle a management and less a systems and scale issue. Sector development policy needs to support and guide such adjustments. For this to happen, much more needs to be done in raising awareness at all relevant levels through effective animal health risk communication and in fostering public-private partnerships.

  • In contrast to the past few decades where the poultry sector has benefited from long-term declining world market prices for feed grain, it is now facing increasing prices as the competition with direct grain consumption by a still strongly expanding global human population and with grain use for bio-fuel production intensifies. This development is likely to be to the advantage of large-scale operations taking advantage of their economies of scale; on the other hand, this development will also encourage the use of alternative feed sources at the national and local levels.



Photo: Tarik Tinazay