Antimicrobial Resistance

Reduce the Need for Antimicrobials on Farms for Sustainable Agrifood Systems Transformation

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the most complex threats to global health and development. In food and agriculture, the potential consequences of AMR include: 

  • reduced animal health and welfare and food production; 
  • increased food insecurity and food safety concerns; 
  • higher economic losses to farm households; and 
  • contamination of the environment. 

It is primarily driven by the increasing overuse and misuse of antimicrobials in human health settings and the agrifood sectors. As the global demand for food continues to rise, this use and misuse is expected to increase. 

If not addressed, AMR threatens to compromise progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This calls for the progressive transformation of agrifood systems to reduce the need for antimicrobials by moving beyond traditional siloed perspectives and adopting a One Health approach. 

Sustainably transforming agrifood systems 

As a major initiative of FAO, the Reduce the Need for Antimicrobials on Farms for Sustainable Agrifood Systems Transformation (RENOFARM) initiative is an action-oriented, country-focused, and country-led initiative responding to the global agrifood systems transformation agenda. RENOFARM engages the entire production chain, from farm to fork, and strengthens partnerships, including public-private. Furthermore, it includes regional and global components to support country-level action by supporting their National Action Plans on AMR. 

The initiative is deeply rooted and guided by FAO's Action Plan on AMR 2021-2025 and the One Health approach.  It is also embedded in the FAO Priority Programme Area on One Health, the Quadripartite Strategic Framework for collaboration on antimicrobial resistance, and the Quadripartite One Health Joint Plan of Action. 

In summary, this ten-year global initiative will contribute toward countries' agrifood systems transformation by providing comprehensive support in implementing good production practices that lead to a reduced need for antimicrobials and a prudent and responsible use when antimicrobials are needed. 

Providing farm-level support 

FAO will lead global action based on the broader collaboration from international bodies to the public and private sectors. It will extend to all Members who wish to join. The main intervention areas of the initiative are centered around providing farm-level support. This is guided by the Farm 5Gs: 

  • Good Health Services: Ensuring access to good health services, including guidance on prudent AMU. 
  • Good Production Practices: Implementing good production and husbandry practices across all farm production value chains, optimal farm biosecurity and hygiene measures, prudent AMU and efficient farm waste management. 
  • Good Alternatives: Embracing alternative approaches, such as vaccines, biosecurity measures, alternative feeds, feed additives, integrated pest management (IPM), and biological control methods. 
  • Good Incentives: Promoting economic and productivity outcomes at the farm level through measures like regulatory frameworks, quality control mechanisms, and bolstering functional supply chains. 
  • Good Connection: Strengthening the connection of farmers to reduce their dependence on antimicrobials involves enhancing their access to crucial resources and support. 

Recognizing the essential role of a conducive and enabling environment for successful implementation of the interventions at the farm level, the initiative will be layered on enabling actions at the Agri-environment, national, and international levels. 

Additionally, the success of RENOFARM's workstream and implementation of the Farm 5Gs relies on the following action accelerators: education and awareness, public-private collaboration, behavioral and social approaches, research, innovation, new technologies, and youth engagement. 

What will it achieve?  

In supporting countries to reduce the need for antimicrobials in their agrifood systems, RENOFARM will contribute to the following broader objectives by the end of the ten-year initiative: 

  • Facilitating the transformation to healthier and sustainable agrifood systems with reduced reliance on antimicrobial use. 
  • Supporting the implementation of global and national Action Plans on AMR through improved inclusion and functioning of food and agriculture sectors. 
  • Strengthening the positioning and contributions of food and agriculture sectors in AMR risk management at the country level through concrete activities. 
  • Contributing to achieving the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the related SDGs. 

In order to achieve these objectives, the following targets have been crafted: 

  • Participation of 100 countries with their antimicrobial resistance NAPs implemented, monitored, and updated in the food and agriculture sectors, over the 10-year period of the initiative. 
  • Training of 50 percent animal/plant health service providers and other relevant experts in areas relevant to reducing the need for antimicrobials for sustainable agrifood systems transformation initiative, and 
  • Contribution of data by 80 percent of the participating countries to the International FAO Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring (InFARM) IT platform.   

Membership and participation 

As RENOFARM is a global initiative, any interested stakeholder can participate. Countries will unite, both those already making their efforts and those with limited resources or capacities, leaving no one behind. To that end, the initiative indicators are not country- or sector-specific but of a global nature. This will ensure goals and targets are not seen as barriers but as an opportunity to contribute within each country's means, regardless of what those are. 

This initiative is grounded on its voluntary, global, and inclusiveness principles. All participants are encouraged to join the initiative, understanding that there is no one-role-fits-all. Participants might enroll themselves in as many projects that the initiative will cover, in the capacity that suits them the most and at any time during the lifetime of the initiative.  

RENOFARM will directly contribute to better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life, leaving no one behind. Farms will become healthier and more sustainable by introducing or improving best practices, health and vaccination programmes, biosecurity measures and antimicrobial alternatives. As a result, animals and crops will be healthier, agricultural products will be safer, and agrifood businesses will become more profitable. 

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