Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition (FSN Forum)

This member contributed to:

    • Taking advantage of the experience of developed countries can be valuable for developing nations. A key role of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations is to moderate discussions and provide a space for the exchange of information and experiences. The organisation is also tasked with setting the standard when it comes to technical and statistical analysis by merging data from multiple sources and generating outputs that are of practical benefit. International workshops and seminars organised by the FAO offer a platform for experts working in different countries to exchange views on solutions aimed at standardising practice, and to establish mutually beneficial partnerships. 

      Cooperation between the FAO and other organisations such as ICAR and Interbull can deliver many benefits in the field of performance recording and breeding value estimation. Strengthening the genetic basis of given traits and characteristics is one of the most effective ways of improving animal production. Now and in the future, these techniques have the potential to reduce emissions and increase efficiency. For example, predictive breeding techniques can help to reduce methane emissions and improved feed conversion. Breeding for sustainability-related traits using genomics is one of the most promising areas, reflecting the direction in which efforts are now focused.

      The FAO also has a vital role to play in stimulating discussion on new business models that can be introduced in member countries, especially developing nations. This approach can help promote innovation, modernise technology, and advance the field of data processing. Developing new agricultural policies and acknowledging the ways in which farmers and government officials now communicate and interact are also important. One way the FAO could improve in this regard is to conduct more hands-on workshops with the aim of bringing government representatives and stakeholders together to discuss case studies and generate productive debate on key issues. Creating an environment conducive to open dialogue and removing barriers to participation are proven to maximise the exchange of knowledge between individuals.

    • In the Czech Republic, the impacts of the climate crisis, particularly drought, on agricultural production are being keenly felt. The problem is largely due to increased variations in rainfall and temperatures compared to times gone by. The growing instability in weather patterns, which has led to an increase in sudden events such as floods, storms, and extended dry spells around the world, will be more and more common. This global emergency needs can be partly addressed by introducing changes in technology that align with innovations in breeding practices.

      A well-targeted agricultural policy and a meaningfully designed agricultural subsidy scheme would do much to improve practice in this area. Consumer preferences, which are increasingly taking sustainability into account, are especially important. The global agricultural community must make a commitment to change the way in which crops are grown by optimising production and taking an approach to rearing livestock that embraces new methods and technologies.

      For instance, developing and investing in the field of performance recording and breeding value estimation has the potential to transform animal breeding. Indeed, a wide range of sustainability-related traits are already being bred, with the quest for new traits set to continue long into the future.

      The key will be to develop practical business models and agrarian policies that respect the needs and constraints of different stakeholders, while striking a balance become economic realities and opportunities. On this front, the FAO has a major role to play in stimulating the debate.