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Experts in Animal Resources and Africa’s Regional Economic Communities Discuss Challenges Associated with Increasing Demand for Livestock – Based Protein in the coming decades in Africa.

The experts in a group photo

Demand on higher-value foods to shift

Experts in Animal Resources in Africa in representation of the African Union, Regional Economic Communities and the FAO discussed the long-term impact of livestock on society in the coming decades.

Africa will grow and transform tremendously in the next three decades. Its population will increase from 1.2 billion today to over 2.5 billion in 2050, and the continent will experience sustained development and transformation.  This will result in an exponentinally larger demand of higher-value foods, such as meat, milk and other livestock products.

The FAO Global Perspectives Studies Team estimates that continental beef and poultry consumption will increase by over 200 percent between 2015 and 2050, while the demand for milk will increase by almost 140 percent. As a response, farmers will have incentives to increase livestock production and productivity. Under a “business as usual” scenario, the cattle herd is anticipated to pass from 330 million animals today to over 700 million by 2050 and the poultry standing stock from 2.3 to 7.9 billion birds.

The experts were in Accra to Discuss the Challenges Associated with an Increasing Demand for Livestock – Based Protein in Africa under the Africa Sustainable Livestock 2050 (ASL2050) Initiative, sponsored by USAID and implemented by FAO’s Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD) in the context of the Emerging Pandemic Threats Programme, in collaborating with the governments of Burkina Faso, Egypt, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda to generate evidence on the emerging challenges a radically transformed livestock sector will pose to society. 

According to the ASL2050 Global Coordinator, Ugo Pica-Ciamarra, “the objective of the ASL2050 is to support evidence-based policy reforms that will ensure a sustainable development of livestock in the long-term, from a public health, environmental and social perspective”.

He said, the emergence and spread of transboundary animal diseases, and proliferation of antimicrobial resistance pathogens for example, novel human-animal-ecosystem dynamics are likely to lead to zoonotic disease threats of pandemic potential, 

Towards a sustainable African livestock in 2050

The experts say in the coming year forces will be joined to identify required policy shifts at pan-African and RECs level that will steer the growth of livestock along a sustainable development trajectories in the coming decades.

 “This innovative approach will help Africa anticipate and prepare for future threats that could impact the environment, as well as human and animal health”. According to Scott Newman, the Senior Animal Health and Production Officer at the FAO Regional Office for Africa.

He said by considering livestock sector development and major issues relevant to Africa including population and socio-economic growth, food and nutrition security, inappropriate use of antimicrobials, pastoralism, 

drought, and deforestation, the ASL2050 Initiative will help identify policy gaps that can be addressed at national, regional and continental levels.