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VI international conference on goats
International Workshop on Peri-Urban Livestock Waste

VI international conference on goats

This international conference will take place in Beijing, China, from 6 to 11 May 1996. To be held in English, it promises to provide an international audience with the first glimpse of the history and potential of goats in China.

A full range of environments can be found in China, from humid areas to vast, dry desert regions. With more than 100 million goats, China has specialized breeds for dairy production (3 million goats), fibre (cashmere) and pelts, in addition to many dual-purpose breeds.

Subjects to be covered at the conference include: production systems; genetics and breeding; nutrition and feed resources; economics and social issues; products; environment and ecology; pathology and health; and reproduction.

FAO will sponsor a one-day international world round table to address small ruminant genetic resources in each region of the world, and Heifer Project International will host a round table on goats and smallholders. China itself will conduct a round table on cashmere.

Papers must be submitted by 18 June 1995. For information and instructions, please contact: Mr Li Wei, CAAV, No. 33 Nongfengli, Dongdaqiao, Beijing 100020, China. Fax: 86-1-5005670.

Delegates should register before 1 February 1996. A fee of US$300 will be charged, plus $250 for each accompanying person. After that date, the fees will increase to $350 and $300, respectively.

The contact person for the conference is Rosalee Sinn, Secretary-Treasurer IGA, PO Box 808, Little Rock, Arkansas 72203, USA. Fax: 501-376-8906; Tel: 501-376-8943.

International Workshop on Peri-Urban Livestock Waste

The International Workshop on Peri-Urban Livestock Waste was organized by the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Engineering Research and Planning (CAAERP) under a Letter of Agreement with the FAO Animal Production and Health Division (AGA). The workshop was held at the China Centre of Rural Energy Research and Training (CCRERT), Changping, on the outskirts of Beijing, from 19 to 22 September 1994. The organizer of the course was Prof. Wang Mengjie, Deputy Director of the CAAERP and Director of the Chinese Society of Agricultural Engineering's Department of International Cooperation. The meeting was preceded by organized visits to poultry and swine farms.

The purpose of the workshop was to address in an integrated manner the problem of animal excrete originating from large intensive animal production units in city peripheries. Also discussed were aspects related to the environmental framework, nutrition and feeding strategies to reduce the quantity of excrete and the concentration of major pollutants, collection and treatment methods in farm biogas production and alternative uses of excrete as feed and fertilizer.

Participants of this multidisciplinary meeting included: 18 Chinese experts from ten local institutions dealing with animal production, agricultural engineering and environmental protection; international experts J.C. Barker, Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, North Carolina State University, United States; K.J. Johansen, Biowaste A/S, Farso, Denmark; and A.W. Jongbloed, Institute for Animal Science and Health, Lelystad, the Netherlands; and from FAO Headquarters, G. Best, Senior Energy Coordinator, Research and Technology Development Division; M. Sánchez, Animal Production Officer; and N. Scialabba, Environment Officer, Environment and Sustainable Development Coordinating Centre. Most of the participants presented papers in their areas of expertise.

During the opening ceremony of the workshop there were statements by A. Spijkers, Deputy FAO Representative in China on behalf of the FAO Representative; Duan Wu De, Bureau of Environmental Protection and Energy, Chinese Ministry of Agriculture; and Xu Lingfeng, Department of International Cooperation, Chinese Ministry of Agriculture.

Presentations were given by the participants over two-and-a-half days, followed by an afternoon of visits to swine and dairy breeding farms. On the last day of the workshop group discussions were held on the main subjects of the meeting (environment and policy; feeding and fertilizer; biogas; and waste treatment and facilities) followed by general discussion, where the groups presented their conclusions and recommendations and possible follow-up project activities were outlined.

Considering the great impact on the environment caused by large animal production units situated in pert-urban areas in countries around the world, this workshop has set a precedent of how this problem should be approached in a multidisciplinary way. It is the intention of the FAO officers who participated in the workshop to apply a similar methodology in order to try to reduce the environmental impact of intensive animal production near urban centres throughout the world.

The proceedings of the workshop will be edited by the FAO Animal Production Service and will be proposed for publication as part of the FAO Animal Production and Health Series.

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