HLPE consultation on the V0 draft of the Report: Sustainable agricultural development for food security and nutrition, including the role of livestock

02.10.2015 - 16.11.2015

In October 2014, the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) requested the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE) to conduct a study on Sustainable Agricultural Development for Food Security and Nutrition, including the role of Livestock. The findings of this study will feed into CFS 43 Plenary session (October 2016).

As part of the process of elaboration of its reports, the HLPE is organizing a consultation to seek inputs, suggestions, and comments on the present V0 draft. This open e-consultation will be used by the HLPE to further elaborate the report, which will then be submitted to external expert review, before finalization and approval by the HLPE Steering Committee.

HLPE V0 drafts are deliberately presented early enough in the process - as a work-in-progress, with their range of imperfections – to allow sufficient time to give proper consideration to the feedback received so that it can play a really useful role in the elaboration of the report. It is a key part of the scientific dialogue between the HLPE Project Team and Steering Committee, and the rest of the knowledge community. In that respect, the present V0 draft report also identifies areas for recommendations at a very early stage, and the HLPE would welcome suggestions or proposals.

In order to strengthen the report, the HLPE would welcome submission of material, evidence-based suggestions, references, and examples, in particular addressing the following important questions:

  1. The report is wide-ranging and comprehensive in analyzing the contribution of sustainable agricultural development to ensuring food security and nutrition (FSN), with a particular focus on the livestock sector because of its importance for both nutrition and sustainable futures. Do you think that the report is striking the right balance between agricultural development overall and the livestock sector specifically with respect to their relative contribution to FSN?
  2. The report is structured around context, trends, challenges and pathways/responses. Do you think that these are comprehensive enough, and adequately considered and articulated? Does the report strike the right balance of coverage across the various chapters?  Are there important aspects that are missing?
  3. The report uses a classification to distinguish between four broad categories of livestock systems, in order to better identify specific challenges and sustainable development pathways for each of them. Do you find this approach useful for identifying specific policy responses and actions in different socio-economic and environmental contexts?
  4. The report has referenced key projections and scenario studies in identifying the drivers and trends through to 2050. Are there other studies that the report needs to reference, which offer different perspectives on the future outlook for the agriculture (including livestock) sector, in particular those that focus on nutrition and diet?
  5. The report has identified a wide range of challenges likely to be faced in the coming period to which policy makers and other stakeholders will need to take into account so that SADL can contribute to FSN. Do you think that there are other key challenges/opportunities that need to be covered in the report, including those related to emerging technologies, the concentration and intensification of production in livestock, and the implications for feedstuffs (crops and oilseeds), and international trade?
  6. A decision-making approach that could be useful for policy makers in designing and implementing policies and actions has been proposed in Chapter 4 of the report. Is this a useful and pragmatic approach?
  7. Chapter 4 also contains case studies/examples of evolutions of agricultural development policies and actions in different contexts/countries. Could you offer other practical, well-documented and significant examples to enrich and provide better balance to the variety of cases and the lessons learned in agricultural development, including the trade offs or win-win outcomes in terms of addressing the different dimensions of sustainability and FSN?
  8. The social dimension of sustainable agriculture development has often been less well described and understood, including due to lack of data. Examples and experiences on such issues (livelihoods, gender, share and situation of self employed versus wage workers, working conditions, etc.) would be of particular interest to the team.
  9. The upstream and downstream sectors are playing an increasingly important role in respect of the orientation of agricultural development, food choices and diets. Can you provide examples of the role these sectors play in sustainable agricultural development and FSN?
  10. What are the key policy initiatives or successful interventions to improve the sustainability of food systems, in different countries and contexts that merit discussion in the report? Is there evidence about the potential of economic incentives, and which ones (taxes, subsidies etc.), regulatory approaches, capacity building, R&D and voluntary actions by food system actors?
  1. The design and implementation of policies for FSN requires robust, comparative data over time and across countries. Where are the data gaps that governments, national and international organizations might need to address in the future in order to understand trends and formulate better policies?
  2. Are there any major omissions or gaps in the report? Are topics under-or over-represented in relation to their importance? Are any facts or conclusions refuted or questionable? If any of these are an issue, please send supporting evidence.  

We thank in advance all the contributors for being kind enough to read and comment and suggest inputs on this early version of the report.

We look forward to a rich and fruitful consultation.

The HLPE Project Team and Steering Committee.

HLPE Steering Committee ,

Dear all

On behalf of the HLPE Steering Committee and Project Team, we would like to thank all of you for your contributions in commenting on the V0 draft of the report. The high number of responses received clearly shows the importance of the topic, and the complexity and breadth of  the issues tackled by the report. The proposals for improvement and the detailed comments, evidence and references provided are extremely valuable to the work of the HLPE. The HLPE is now extensively reviewing all contributions received to finalize the report. The publication of the final report is foreseen for June 2016. 

Thank you for the time and interest taken to contribute to this important dialogue.

Best regards.

For the HLPE Steering Committee, Joanna Hewitt, Steering Committee member, Convener of the Steering Committee oversight for the report.

For the HLPE Project Team, Wilfrid Legg, Project Team leader

International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) ,
The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) welcomes the opportunity to comment on the draft report. We very much welcome the focus on livestock which often gets little balanced attention in debates about sustainability of agriculture.
Overall we believe the team has done a good job in assembling this overview of the key drivers and changes in the agriculture sector with a specific focus on the livestock sub-sector and the critical importance of these for sustainable food security in the future.  The recognition of the complexity of the livestock sub-sector, and thus diversity of challenges and solutions is also welcome. However this could also be a shortcoming if attention is not paid to clearly articulating the constructs and keeping those threads connected throughout the document – there are rather too many different frameworks etc.
In relation to the invitation to respond to specific questions posed we have the following comments:
There is a mis-match between the title of the report and the balance of the content in different chapters between agriculture generally and livestock. The title suggests a more comprehensive treatment of agriculture in general than is the case. While some of the report deals with agriculture the majority of the report focusses on livestock. The opening sentence on Chapter 3 is very explicit that it focusses on livestock. So much of the background information, trends, drivers and analysis is about the livestock sub-sector, but the responses to the challenges in Chapter 4 and most of Chapter 5 are mainly about the agriculture sector generally with little specific reference to livestock. We believe that that it would be better to be clearer about the focus on livestock in the title of the report, e.g. ‘Sustainable Agricultural Development for Food Security and Nutrition; he Role of Livestock’. Then the overall agriculture sector can be included and discussed where it either impinges on the livestock sector or there are lessons to be learned. 
The context, trends etc. are well articulated.
The classification of livestock systems is fairly ‘traditional’ and static and does not take account of the dynamics now and into the future. While we recognise that it is necessary to keep the classification simple, it might be worth thinking about the trajectories that livestock systems are on. The ILRI Strategy 2013-2122 identifies three broad trajectories (Annex 1) (https://cgspace.cgiar.org/bitstream/handle/10568/27796/ilristrategy2013_print.pdf?sequence=11&isAllowed=y
A reference with scenarios for Africa is the African Livestock Futures (Herero et al, 2014): https://cgspace.cgiar.org/bitstream/handle/10568/41908/Livestock_Report_en.pdf?sequence=3&isAllowed=y
The two volumes Livestock in a changing Landscape: (http://www.fao.org/agriculture/lead/lead-resources/en/?no_cache=1) look at differ trajectories and may give some additional information. 
A recent EU report may also be useful
Some consideration of the new opportunities (and challenges) offered by new biosciences would be helpful. For example new genomic and breeding technologies could transform not only productivity but also help livestock systems to mitigate and adapt to climate change, including disease resistance. New second generation biofuel technology could revolutionise monogastric feeding and reduce competition between livestock feed and human food.
 Yes a decision-making framework is useful
The case studies are dominated by developed and emerging economy countries. Other examples could be:
Operation Flood (small-holder dairy development in India). Much has been written about it.
Backyard poultry development in Bangladesh by BRAC
Lack of data is a real challenge. On gender, the book ‘Women, livestock ownership and markets: Bridging the gender gap in eastern and southern Africa’ by  J. Njuki, J. and P.C. Sanginga gives a good overview. (https://cgspace.cgiar.org/handle/10568/34088)
11. There is a dearth of information  on livestock data. A good overview with recommendations for the way forward can be found in Investing in the Livestock Sector: Why Good Numbers Matter. (http://www.fao.org/3/a-i3706e.pdf)
12. Other comments:
The conceptual framework (Fig 1) does not convey a very clear message.
The increasingly important role of the private sector in driving development warrants more attention.
Many small holder systems can be considered intensive too, e.g. backyard pig production in SE Asia which are posing some of the same challenges as in the industrial sector (page 43/line 25).
This also presents an opportunity to influence positive transition  (page 43/line 39
Welfare can also be comprised in extensive systems (page 52/line 21). It could be compromised by poor nutrition, high disease burden extreme climate (hot or cold) and in extreme cases by high mortality, for example due to drought.
Land degradation has many causes beyond livestock (page 52.  See for example presentation at a recent World Food Prize event 2015 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/ilri/15641105035/in/photostream/).
Proper grazing management – ie including livestock is necessary to get the best C sequestration (page 52/line 48).
The social category of the challenge matrix (page 59) is a very mixed bag. Is there a more logical way of organizing this?
Annex 1
Livestock subsector trajectories
This strategy expands the previous focus to include livestock-based options that help people to meet their food and nutritional as well as economic needs while mitigating their livestock-associated environmental and health threats. It recognizes three scenarios of livestock systems change, but focuses ILRI’s efforts on the first two, in particular the first. These were chosen based on the likely transformations of major livestock systems of the poor in this decade and livestock-sector growth scenarios derived largely from a High-Level Consultation for a Global Livestock Agenda to 2020, co-convened by ILRI and the World Bank in early 2012.
Strong growth systems: There is urgent need to develop sustainable food systems that deliver key animal source nutrients to the poor while facilitating a structural transition in the livestock sector of developing countries. This entails a transition from most smallholders keeping livestock in low-productive systems to eventually fewer households raising more productive animals in more efficient, intensive and market-linked systems. These mostly mixed smallholder systems now provide significant animal and crop products in the developing world and are likely to grow the most in aggregate. In many parts of Africa and Asia, the transition is happening slowly, with smallholder
marketing systems still largely informal, although there are pockets of more rapid change in higher potential systems with good market access. ILRI and its partners are working to make this transition as broad-based as possible, helping those who can to continue on their path to sustainable, highly productive and resource-efficient smallholder systems, or to accumulate sufficient capital to exit from agriculture without falling back into poverty. This research aims to develop and upscale practices, strategies and policies that support inclusive growth and maximize the wellbeing of people and the
environment, now and in the future.
Fragile growth systems: It will not be possible to create the same level of opportunities for rapid, market focused growth for all poor livestock keepers, especially in areas where growth in productivity is severely limited by remoteness, harsh climates or environments, or by poor institutions, infrastructure and market access. In these livestock systems, what is urgently needed are nuanced approaches that, where appropriate, help achieve incremental growth in livestock production and market engagement that matches well with the natural resource base. In other situations, rather than productivity, the emphasis will need to be on enhancing the important role livestock play in increasing the resilience of people, communities and environments to variability in weather, markets or resource
demands. Livestock research will help people make better use of their livestock-based livelihoods to feed their families and communities, protect their assets and conserve their natural resources.
High growth with externalities: In parts of some developing countries, particularly in Asia, where dynamic markets and increasingly skilled human resources are already driving strong growth in livestock production, fast changing small-scale livestock systems may be damaging the environment, exposing their communities to increased public health risks, and furthermore excluding participation of those livestock keepers and sellers living in deepest poverty. In these circumstances, what is urgently needed is an understanding and anticipation of all possible negative impacts of small-scale livestock intensification. Research can help promote or generate the incentives, technologies, strategies and product and organizational innovations that will mitigate health and environment risks while supporting
the poorest people to comply with increasingly stringent livestock market standards.
Lin Ding Permanent Representation of P.R.China to the United Nations Agencies for Food ...

To the Secretary of the HLPE,CFS,

We understand that the V0 draft report of Sustainable Agricultural Development for Food Security and Nutrition, including the Role of Livestock is publicly available on the HLPE consultation platformon the website of CFS.

Due to the continues communication with our capital for some days more, we here have some additional comments and revise suggestions below which we would like to share with you and contribute for any help of the last version’s release, and also for your reference for the further precise research work and how to make closely cooperation with Chinese experts.

Please find all the comments followed with the pagemark which help you to finding them.


Page13In relation to chemicals, the cause can be either illicit additives, such as the melamine introduced into powdered milk in China, or additives introduced to  achieve specific properties such as taste, longer shelf-life or appearance.

Response: Wedon’t think it is convenient for you to express like this way, suchmelamine event in china is not unique issue in the world, itcontributes to the amplification effect by the public medias which chase their explosive effects and audience ratings as well.

As a professional report,this V0 draft report should align with the principle of objective and impartial that FAOand CFS insist.

We suggest delete the sentence followed: such as the melamine introduced into powdered milk in China.

Page15There has, however, also been a reverse trend in some other countries including some large non-OECD economies such as Indonesia, the Russian  Federation and China, which are moving from effective taxation of agriculture to becoming significant subsidizers, in some cases approaching OECD country levels, and with the potential for the same damaging impacts on poorer countries’ agricultural interests.

Response: We suggest delete the sentence followed: in some cases approaching OECD country levels, and with the potential for the same damaging impacts on poorer countries’ agricultural interests.

Page51In China, for example, food production is said to be dominated by “elephants and mice”; in other words, a great majority of informal sector actors who are difficult to monitor and a few large companies that have incentives to escape or capture regulation (Alcorn and Ouyang, 2012). These structural challenges are  compounded by generally poor capacity to enforce regulation in many developing countries.

Response:Consider with the objectivity of the text content, it may be true, but does not mean all,we believe it does not represent the views of mainstream and authority.it may be misled some readers who are not fully understand the so called structural challenges.

CFSshould not intake all the“special”views from some experts as itsformal proposal or decisions in the future and with freely.

We suggest delete the whole paragraph above.

Page56In China, recent years have seen: the use of melamine to increase the apparent protein level of baby milk; ink to colour noodles; and sodium borate used to make cheap pork resemble beef (GFSF, 2011). A meta-review of studies of acute food poisoning sourced from Chinese academic databases for the period 2000–2010, covering 2 387 individual incidents of acute food-borne illnesses, found food additives were responsible for 9.9 20 percent。

Response: Theseabove are some of the more extreme examples, actually, we can also find and would like to share with you more examples with more negative effects from some countries even some developed countries as well.

Please kindly noted that if your opinion could not cover all examples, please don’t make one or two countries to bear all the responsibilities of the crisis that we all face. And more,the Chinese academic databases which you cited should be clarified as the standard reference articles annexed.

We fully suggest delete the whole paragraph above or clarify the second half of the paragraph in page 56.

Marie Paviot GISA , France


Veuillez trouver ci-joint les commentaires du Groupe interministériel pour la sécurité alimentaire de la France sur le draft du rapport HLPE Développement agricole durable propice à la sécurité alimentaire et à la nutrition, y compris le rôle de l’élevage.

Toutes nos excuses pour cet envoi tardif.


Hamidreza Naderfard Iran (Islamic Republic of)

Honorable Dr .Vincent Gitz. Coordinator of HLPE

My best compliments to you and all humans who think about happiness ,food security and welfare of not only present , but also future generations .I hope all of you are happy , healthy and successful in your work and life.

Subject :My view points about 94 pages of HLPE draft V0 ,published by DAD.Net@fao.org to :DAD.Net@dgroups.org .In Tuesday ,October 13 , 2015 , under the title of :

HLPE Report on:

Sustainable Agricultural Development for Food Security and Nutrition,

Including the Role of Livestock

e-Consultation on the Draft V0

in advance, I ,cordially ,apologize you for sending you my comments in delay ,I hope maybe it will be useful for final version of HLPE draft.   

I read the 94 pages (Include the references)of draft V0 very patiently and very accurately with the extremity of trusteeship(without citing and quoting) with taking into my consideration of 12 questions.

The draft was relatively complete and comprehensive from writing the related subjects point of view .     I mean that all important subjects has been discussed and analyzed, the important subjects such as: economic , social , environmental ,marketing and trade ,different livestock breeding systems  etc .BUT, In my opinion , some subjects were more or less stressed(Emphasized).On the other word , I believe that some important subjects must be added or must be more stressed as follow:

1-Now ,in 2015 ,if we want to complete the draft of AFS(Mainly ,the draft which has the outlook of 2050 ,we must give the first priority(Importance) to:

A-Political conditions ,mainly ,Asian and African developing countries .Unfortunately ,as you see ,ominous phenomenon of terrorism , imposed and unwillingly internal and external wars along with other destructive phenomenon such as climate change have shadowed the human being of 21st century. Accordingly, these ominous phenomenon ,No-doubt, will affect the all economic ,social-environmental ,cultural and ethical issues .Every kind of programming include global food security ,is feasible and accessible only , only in a calm and secured environment ,specially ,agriculture activities which is involved with different socio-economic ,climatic and geographic aspects in two vast continents of Asia and Africa. Therefore, I believe that ,terminating and destroying ominous phenomenon of terrorism and providing a calm and  peaceful world is the first ,the most fundamental and vital prerequisite for every kind of developmental project including plans and projects of animal food security ,Therefore  ,all global organizations  ,governments ,NGOs etc must take this bitter and painful fact into their consideration before compiling every kind of global , regional ,continental or country level(Particularly while compiling final version of HLPE) . In this connection, International bodies such as international organization who are linked with united nations have heavier responsibility on their shoulder.

B-Another very important point which must be referred and taken into consideration while compiling the final version of HLPE is :Mental and cordial persuasion(cordial belief) of  high level policy-makers in all countries such as :presidents , prime ministers , ministers member of parliaments and academic(Universities) ,research centers etc .They must cordially believe and do their best for food security of all people of not only present , but their next generation(without compromising the environment).without their keenness every developmental project(Such as animal food production) will be ineffective or less effective .Their enthusiasm originated from their belief to necessity of food security ,surely will cause their support and finally will result in happiness and more incentive among deprived and poor farmers , mainly small size farmers (who have a few domestic animal with or without crop production) who produce milk and meat , not only for their family ,but sale the surplus and get income .Therefore ,I request you to mention this point in the final version of HLPE .During 43rd session of HLPE , the policy-makers who have significant role in executing the food security projects must be obliged do their best in the way of food security for future generation.

2-Another point which I think has been weakly seen in the HLPE draft V0 , is serious necessity of conservation of Indigenous(Local) animal genetic resources .In the spite , some international bodies (Mainly FAO)have started this point from about 30 years ago , but , I think  it is not sufficient .I think Final draft of HLPE version ,must pay attention to this point more serious.


Because the world’s food systems are being squeezed from all sides: rising populations and changing diets are increasing the global demand for food, while food production is increasingly compromised by climate change and land degradation. In such sensitive and vital condition , These are only local animals which can tolerate hard and unfavorable environmental and management conditions(lack of good feed stuffs ,animal diseases , parasitic diseases etc).local AnGR ,are able to use the wastes and residues ,more economic at least , at subsistence level .In addition to , they are national heritage of each country and as the source of variance they are the base of every scientific and research work in the field of  genetic improvement , breed synthesis , nutritional research  etc .So , I think Final draft of HLPE version ,must pay attention to this point more serious.

3- Another point which I think has been weakly seen in the HLPE draft V0 , is emphasis on  the vital and the most prominent role of small-size animal breeders  who live and work in the rural areas in the way of animal food security(With or without crop production).


Because of many social-economic-environmental and ethical reasons . They mustn’t be seen only as a producer of milk and meat , but , they are the best custodians of ecosystem and local animal breeds .If rural farmers have  happy life  with proper welfare and sufficient income , surely , they will remain in their rural areas ,Therefore , wont migrate to urban areas , accordingly ,both ,rural and urban population have happy and beautiful life ,Vice versa. I ,cordially, believe that final draft of HLPE ,must give special emphasis on the rural development ,with more emphasis on the small-size farmers who produce milk and meat in these areas.

4-- Another point which I think has been weakly seen (somewhat is neglected) in the HLPE draft V0 is ,

The processing and treatment of plant or animal  wastes ,by-products and residues in order to best exploit of them in animal feeding and finally , not only convert them to milk and meat but avoid of polluting the environment , economic advantages and the most important, lack of competition of  these materials with human foods. I ,cordially, believe that final draft of HLPE ,must give special emphasis on the best and the most usage of these materials in animal feeding , because of different economic-environmental and social reasons.

5-In the end , if my letter became long , I cordially , apologize you ,I wrote my view points only based on my human duties versus my next generation(Surely ,in 2050 , I am passed away).

Note: I am too much interested in participating in 43rd session of HLPE in 2016.If it is possible please, do inform me ,I prepare a presentation(I have 31 years of experience on the rural development mainly on the working with small size and deprived livestock keepers)

Thank you very much for your soon reply

Mr.hamidreza naderfard.M.Sc in genetic and animal breeding(Born in 1959)

Head expert of buffalo development in Iran(I will be retired in July 2016).Ministry of agriculture.Tehean.Iran

Mobile:0098(0)936 877 9010

See the attachment: Dr,Vincent.pdf
HEBER BRENNER Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture and Food Supply, Brazil

Dear Collegues,

In addition to the comments sent from Secretariat of International Relations, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply - MAPA, Brazil, here are some remarks.

A)   MAPA believes that a wider food supply chain sustainability is related with the balance among efficiency, management, food safety, quality, animal and human welfare, environment support and profit. These factors must to be guaranteed in/by each of the food chain stakeholders ('from farm to fork' approach). Regarding livestock sustainability, all these elements are presented in MAPA's programs in order to support the productives sector for implementation of best practices in livestock supply chain, including best agricultural practices, best animal and food transportation practices, best industries processing practices (HACCP, GMP, SSOPs) and of quality management system.

For instance, the Brazilian Decree n. 8533/2015 established the "Programa Mais Leite Saudável" ("Healthy Milk Program" - http://www.agricultura.gov.br/portal/page/portal/Internet-MAPA/pagina-inicial/leite-saudavel) with the main objectives to improve the milk quality/safety and a wider sustainability though the Brazilian dairy production chains. As the means of reaching them, the Brazilian Ministry of Agriulture (together with some strategic Universities and EMBRAPA, Dairy Farmers Associations, Dairy Industries Associations, States Agriulture Federations and others) will support the promotion and implementation of good milk production, milk transportation and milk processing practices protocols. More than 80.000 milk producers will be supported in the next 4 years and at least the largest 50 milk processing industries are already participating. A public budget close to US$300 million is foreseen for the next 4 years and much more in private budget from 2015 on (the private budget and private efforts have no limitations on values or time).

Please, see also some suggestions in answer to the question:

  1. 12. Are there any major omissions or gaps in the report? Are topics under-or over-represented in relation to their importance? Are any facts or conclusions refuted or questionable? If any of these are an issue, please send supporting evidence.

B)   A huge concern in many developing countries, mainly in the large ones (like Brazil), is the efficiency and the quality on food transportation. Regarding the efficiency, all the food supply system should be improved in order to mitigate the food losses during transportation, including the repairing and enlargement of roads, ports, airports and water transport systems. Regarding the quality on transportation, this issue is also very important in relation with the welfare of slaughtering animals and with to maintenance of the food quality and safety thru food chain (from farms to food processing plants / from food processing plants to food distribution centers/supermarkets), including the mitigation of economic and sanitary food frauds during the transportation processes.


Best regards,                        

Heber Brenner

Official Veterinarian

Head of Best Practices in Livestock Supply Chain

Department of Production and Sustainability Systems - DEPROS

Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply - MAPA

Secretariat of International Relations Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply MAPA, ...

In response to the questions listed in the query letter, regarding the document prepared by the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition, this paper is addendum on the paper already sent by the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply in order to enhance its clarification on some issues, especially those affections to Brazil. 

Page 13 line 5-6

Page 13 line 5-6 “Growing intensification of production and expanded international trade with longer, more complex food 6 supply chains is also increasing risks (again, further detail is provided in Chapter 3)” – It should better to explain that “it changes the nature of risk”. The rationale is that it is not clear if the risk was increased or decreased since the long chains have provided more sources of food than before.

Line 6-7 “Food-borne diseases resulting either from biological contamination (pathogens, microbes) or chemicals are a significant cause of human health problems related mainly to fresh food products such as fruit and vegetables, as well as animal-sourced foods.”

It should be deleted. There is no evidence that short chains that we had in the past had less risks of biological contamination. Most of related of occurrences can be just the effect of strengthen the inspection and alert systems.

Line 20-24

Line 20-24 “There is greater scrutiny of the way in which food is now produced and consumed, increasingly in larger, more formal and more intensive production systems, with longer supply chains, frequently sold in global markets for distribution after elaborate transformation and packaging through supermarkets and more often consumed outside the home. Consumers are increasingly remote from agricultural production and often unaware of the processes by which their food is produced.”

It is not only the supply chains that are expanding but also the traceability systems that are providing information on food traded around the world.

Page 25 lines 35-42

Page 25 lines 35-42 The text in those lines are not precise when analysis the “western high meat” diet and it seems not to include the advances in meat productivity around the globe.

Page 37 lines 24-36

Page 37 lines 24-36 The text in this paragraph could be refined to reflect the high-productivity of Brazil sugarcane ethanol that makes it competitive even without incentives.

From page 47 line 48 to page 48 line 15

From page 47 line 48 to page 48 line 15. The text in those 2 paragraphs induces (specially in the 2nd paragraph line 6-15) the conclusion that some misunderstandings of the consumers related to risk are “ethical problems”. It should stress the role of strength risk communication process to solve this errors in perceptions. 

Page 52 lines 3-21.

Page 52 lines 3-21. The prescriptive part of the text prejudges a great effort made in negotiations in UNFCCC. In this sense, the focus of the agriculture in climate change must be adaptation to guarantee food security and mitigation could be mentioned as co-benefit not as a focus.

Page  54 lines 12-18

Page  54 lines 12-18 – The water footprint of meat production must not be addressed related to calories produced because it is not a staple food but a major source of proteins and amino acids that are related to balanced diet.

Page 55 lines 7-44

Page 55 lines 7-44 – The texts should be better balanced and contextualized in the major sources of greenhouse gases. It should not be used in a way that could induce an over contribution of sources other than fossil fuels that are the largest contributor for emissions. 

Page 57 and page 85 (21)

Page 57 and page 85 (21) – The importance of antimicrobial use in livestock is recognized, yet the statements of FAO proposed text should reflect only conclusions and affirmations based on the risk assessment, management and communication, which are the forming elements of the risk analysis. Once risk analysis is a tool based on strong scientific evidence, it is safer, more precise and efficient to adopt control and verification measures for production, and is recommended by reference WTO provisions, such as  Codex Alimentarius, World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and International Convention for Plant Protection (IPPC) and ISSBA.

Furthermore, occasional mistakes and overestimation on the use of antibiotics on agribusiness do not contribute to the efficacy to combat microbial resistance. The cases of resistance to antimicrobials are related to misuse of these medicines in humans, mislabeled products, falsified products, low quality products, altered products and inappropriate formulated and commercialized products.  Therefore, it is a concern that an emphasis on agribusiness use, which lack scientific proof, may lead to miss the focus of the controls, which should be the use in humans.

Although antimicrobial resistance in animal production may, hypothetically, be harmful to humans, it lacks independent and strong scientific evidence so as to result in adoption of any recommendations. False statements may compromise public policy control and the proper financial and physical resources guidance.

In 2003, FAO/OIE/WHO ministered workshops on non-human antimicrobial use and antimicrobial resistance in 2003 (on scientific assessment) and in 2004 (on management options). As a follow up, the OIE developed a list of antimicrobial agents of veterinary importance, in parallel with the WHO list for human medicine.

Furthermore, OIE has worked on the preparation of strategies to contribute to the combat of antimicrobial resistance, as follows: 

“The OIE promotes the responsible and prudent use of antimicrobial agents in terrestrial animals, so as to preserve their therapeutic efficacy and prolong their use in both animals and human. It has developed standards on the monitoring of the quantities of antimicrobial agents used and antimicrobial resistance. The OIE also developed standards and guidelines to provide methodologies for OIE Member Countries to appropriately address the risk of the emergence or spread of resistant bacteria that result from the use of antimicrobial agents in food producing animals.”

In short, an occasional emphasis on the text on agribusiness aspects may minimize or suppress actions that are directly related to the control in human use. This focus mislead may overlap the commercial barriers interests over the legitimate concerns on public health.

Page 58 – Animal welfare - Regarding animal welfare we recognize its importance and support the work done by OIE, organization reference for this subject, therefore we understand it is missing this quoting in the text.

Page 74 – box text 13 – The expression “Cattle ranching in the Amazon region is one of the most important sources of deforestation in Brazil due to its low productivity” is an oversimplification that damages the rich debate over drivers of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. It also does not account the great efforts made in the Brazilian Program against Deforestation in Amazon (PPCDAm) that reduced deforestation in the region since 2005. 

Also, it should be noticed that deforestation process occur mostly as a secondary source of income, being timber the first and major driver of deforestation. Reasonable way of tackling this problem should be rising international control for non-certified timber and promoting sustainable development of planted forests, besides, of course strict police controls on borders.

Page 81 lines 30 -33 – It should be stressed that any intervention about diet change must be preceded by an open debate and not be enforced by any technocratic enforcement                  

Page 84 lines 18-19 – It should be aligned with UNFCCC discussion on agriculture that emphasizes adaptation as major focus and addresses mitigation as a co-benefit.

Page 84 lines 35-37 – That paragraph about incentives related to natural resources should make a disclaimer in a way that it not should be used in a manner to pay subsidies considered harmful by Agriculture Agreement.

See the attachment: Report
Peter John Opio Private, Uganda

The categories of livestock systems and the contribution of livestock to food security and nutrition in developing countries are well described in section 2.3, pages 30-35 of the draft report. That is, mixed crop-livestock systems produce 65% of beef, 75% of milk and 50% of lamb. Literature also indicates an efficient cycling of nutrients among crops, animals and soil is crucial to the sustained productivity of low-input mixed farming systems in sub-Saharan Africa where constraints including access to agricultural inputs such as fertilizer and improved seed are limited and nutrient balances or the difference between nutrient inputs and harvests are negative for many production systems.  Livestock can contribute to efficient nutrient cycling as well as avert the nutrient imbalances (Powel et al 1995). A number of studies as reported by FAO XXX also reveal that farmers engaged in mixed crop–livestock production earn half or more of their cash income from animal products. Livestock play an important role in conservation agriculture practices. Citing literature, comparing Conservation Agriculture and Conventional draft (CD) tillage practices in Zambia showed that labour productivity (Kg/day) for the Magoye Ripper was higher (US$47.61) than the Conventional draft tillage (US$30.27), FAO (2010). The returns to labour for using the Magoye Ripper (US$2.65) were as well higher than the conventional draft (US$1.28). It is worth noting the riipers are drawn by cattle(oxen).  See Document attached for more information.


FAO. 2010. Cultivating Sustainable Livelihoods: Socio-Economic Impacts of Conservation Agriculture in Southern Africa. FAO-Regional Emergency Office for Southern Africa (REOSA)

Powell J M, Fernández-Rivera S, Williams T O and Renard C (eds). 1995. Livestock and Sustainable Nutrient Cycling in Mixed Farming Systems of sub-Saharan Africa. Volume II: Technical Papers. Proceedings of an International Conference held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 22–26 November 1993. ILCA (International Livestock Centre for Africa), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 568 pp.

See the attachment: Livestock and effectiveness.pdf
Fabienne Moust World Food Programme, Italy


WFP comments on CFS HLPE Livestock report V0 draft

While FSN is mentioned repeatedly as one of the key focus areas for how the contribution of the production and consumption of livestock is assessed, the attention to nutrition remains very superficial and there are a couple of basic errors in the report as well. More information could be included about how food systems could be linked to nutrition and thereby improving nutrition. The report would also benefit from making more linkages with the contribution to SDG2s, as discussed in the introduction.

A. Errors:


P8 – lines 4-11, states the following: 800 million hungry, 2.5 billion affected by malnutrition and 2.1 billion overweight including 671 million obese. What is meant with ‘malnutrition’, should this be 2 billion with micronutrient deficiencies?

    1. P11 – lines 16-18, similar statistics, but now it says 795 with chronic undernourishment (instead of ‘hungry’), two billion suffering from nutrient deficiencies, which should be MICROnutrient deficiencies, and two billion overweight or obese.
    2. Furthermore, undernutrition in early life, or stunting, affects 26% of under-fives. Considering that this affects individuals for life, and prevalence was higher among the generation that are adults today, more than 2 billion people live with the consequences of stunting during their early childhood. ASF play an important role in the prevention of stunting (see below), which should be mentioned early on in the report.
    4. Definitions & terms
    1. P11 – line 20, states that undernourishment is the result of chronic calorie deficiency, while undernourishment is in fact defined as not having enough calories’. By stating that it is the result of chronic calorie deficiency, it is equated to a clinical sign, which is not how this term is defined and the number affected is estimated. Malnutrition is observed at the individual level using biochemical and anthropometric indicators, not undernourishment. And more importantly, malnutrition can be due to many dietary deficiencies (kcal, micronutrients etc) as well as illness (i.e. direct causes in UNICEF conceptual framework).
    2. P8 – lines 31-37, mentions ‘sources of vitamins and key micronutrients’ – vitamins and minerals are ‘micronutrients’, so if something is a source of key micronutrients, that already includes vitamins (as well as minerals)
    4. Nutrients contained in ASF
    1. P8 – lines 31-37 states that several micronutrients are contained in ASF that are not found in plant foods. However, only vitamin B12 is not found in plant foods. What should be said instead is that although most micronutrients are also found in plant foods, their content, but particularly their bioavailability, is better from ASF. Good examples are iron, zinc, vitamin A. This makes ASF an important source of (micro) nutrients, especially for groups with high needs (young children, pregnant and lactating women, people suffering from undernutrition).
    2. The emphasis for the role of ASF should be on how they are an essential part of the diet to ensure that nutrient requirements are being met, especially among those that are nutritionally most at-risk. This is a different focus compared to what is stated in P8 – lines 31-37: ‘valuable in combating malnutrition’, which gives the impression that once malnutrition is diagnosed, animal foods should be prescribed.

Similar comments apply to P17, lines 38-48.

B. Need for more in-depth discussion on role of different ASF in the diet, whose diet, and in what amounts

The role of ASF as source of essential nutrients during particular periods of the lifecycle needs to be mentioned. On p17, from line 49 onwards, there is discussion on the importance and also on the risks of animal source foods, without becoming more nuanced about why ASF are important and for whom and in what amounts, as well as which types are better (fish, poultry, eggs, dairy) and which should be consumed in moderation (red meat, processed meat).

For young children, dairy is important for linear growth (stunting prevention), which is important to mention specifically.

With regard to amounts that can be consumed, there is a very good discussion on balancing energy, climate change and health in McMichael, Powles, Butler & Uauy, Lancet 2007;370:1253-63, and it will be very good to compare their recommended per capita intake to the intakes reported on p27, lines 22-29 and p24, lines 8-24 of the CFS report V0.

C. Other Specific Comments

  • Particular parts of the report are more (or only) focused on livestock, e.g. chapter 2.7 and 3.1.2. Conclusions of chapter 2 could include more information on sustainable agricultural development. With respect to 3.1.2., it is not clear why interlinkages between gender and agricultural development have not been made – is the intended focus jus ton on livestock in this part of the report?
  • Page 32-33: In total, six different types of systems are distinguished in the report, i.e. pastoralist and agro-pastoralist systems, smallholder mixed farming systems, intensive livestock systems, commercial ranchers, intensive crop farming and smallholder systems where animals represent less than 10 percent of the total farm output in value terms. It is not clear why Table 1 on page 59-60 only includes the first four livestock systems.
  • Page 17, lines 49-50: How about the WHO guideline on limited red/processed meat intake? (http://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/pr/2015/pdfs/pr240_E.pdf)
  • Page 23-24: it is not clear why FAO projections are presented in a separate chapter. Would suggest combining 2.1.1 and 2.1.2, also because ‘projections’ are again discussed in 2.1.2, lines 39-41 and lines 46-48.
  • Page 60, lines 6-9: It now seems that livestock is not nutritious, however the high nutritional value of meat (protein, micronutrients) has been discussed before and is not taken into account here. Suggestion to include more precision on broad claims.
Ren Wang FAO, Italy