Transforming livestock systems to achieve better agrifood systems and help solve global challenges

New Director of FAO Animal Production and Health Division announces his vision for FAO’s future work on livestock at two major dairy events this month.


Sustainable livestock transformation for better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life for all. This is the vision for FAO’s future work on livestock announced by Thanawat Tiensin, new Director of the FAO Animal Production and Health Division this month. The newly-appointed Director attended two major events organized by the international dairy community and highlighted FAO’s new strategic direction in relation to livestock, including the dairy sector.

Reducing the environmental impacts of livestock while continuing to meet society’s needs is the challenge livestock stakeholders are facing today. With an ever-growing population to feed, livestock systems can play a major role in improving nutrition, farmers’ livelihoods and rural development and contributing to better agrifood systems. However, a transition towards more sustainable practices is needed to enhance the benefits of dairy in developing economies, reduce the sector’s impact on the planet and accelerate climate action.

“FAO will continue to work with its Members, the dairy community, partners, and all relevant stakeholders to promote sustainable, inclusive and efficient livestock transformation to achieve better agrifood systems and leave no one behind”, stressed Tiensin at the World Dairy Summit organized by the International Dairy Federation (IDF), the Government of India, and the National Dairy Development Board of India.

World Dairy Summit

On 12 September, Tiensin joined the opening session of the IDF World Dairy Summit 2022 to discuss policies and regulations impacting the dairy sector around the world. In his remarks, the Director of the FAO Animal Production and Health Division recalled the significant contribution of dairy systems to global food security and poverty reduction. He also stressed the importance for the dairy sector to grow sustainably and to take the health of the environment, public and animals into account.

Despite the growth of the dairy industry, dairy farmers and producers are still facing challenges related to the shortage of animal feed, trade disruptions, lack of infrastructure, high energy prices, and fragmented production. FAO and other partners are supporting the Pathways to Dairy Net Zero initiative to overcome these challenges and reduce methane and other greenhouse gas emissions from dairy systems, whilst enhancing the important role that dairy plays in food and nutrition security, livelihoods and economic growth.

Nourish 2022

“Transforming dairy systems to be more productive is key to adapt to climate change and cut greenhouse gas emissions. Thus, we need to link producers to markets in order to create the right incentives for this transformation”, stressed Tiensin at Nourish 2022 organized by the Global Dairy Platform from 19 to 21 September. By discussing ways to address climate change in developing dairy economies, Tiensin welcomed the GDP’s Dairy Nourishes Africa initiative as a potential model to link dairy smallholders to markets and to identify new pathways in developing dairy economies. In that occasion, the Director of the FAO Animal Production and Health Division also recalled the long-standing partnership between FAO and GDP.

FAO will continue to work with GDP and other partners to accelerate the transition towards more sustainable dairy systems and achieve the FAO’s vision of a sustainable and food secure world for all.

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