Transforming the Livestock Sector through the Sustainable Development Goals

  • 06th November 2018
  • by secretary

15-19 October 2018. Rome. The Committee on World Food Security (CFS).

17 October 2018. Rome. Launch Event: World Livestock (WoLi) Report: Transforming the Livestock Sector through the Sustainable Development Goals

FAO. 2018. World Livestock: Transforming the livestock sector through the Sustainable Development Goals. Rome. 222 pp.

For decades, the livestock debate has focused on how to increase production in a sustainable manner. However, the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has shifted the emphasis from fostering sustainable production per se, to enhancing the contribution of the sector to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This publication examines the sector’s interaction with each of these Goals, as well as the potential synergies, trade-offs, and complex interlinkages.

This global report is intended to serve as a reference framework that Member States and stakeholders can use as they engage in the transformation process of the livestock sector towards sustainability. It calls for an integrated approach towards livestock sustainable development, highlights the effective adaptation of the SDGs into specific and targeted national policy action as the major challenge ahead, and flags the steps in the implementation road map.

Numbers of note

  • Currently, livestock production employs at least 1.3 billion people worldwide.
  • About 600 million of the world’s poorest households keep livestock as an essential source of income
  • Between 2000 and 2014, global production of meat rose by 39 percent; milk production increased by 38 percent.
  • Meat production is projected to increase another 19% by 2030, and milk production another 33% in the same period.
  • Livestock production accounts for 40 percent agriculture output in developed countries and 20 percent of agricultural output in developing countries
  • Animals remain an important source of power. In India, for instance, two-thirds of the country’s cultivated area is ploughed using animal energy, and 14 million animal-drawn carts haul up to 15 percent of the country’s total freight.
  • The introduction of advanced genetics, feeding systems, animal health controls and other technologies over the past four decades allowed industrialized countries to reduce their overall land requirements for livestock by 20 percent while doubling meat production.
  • Wider adoption of existing best practices and technologies in feeding, health and husbandry, and manure management – as well as greater use of improved technologies – could help the global livestock sector cut its GHG emissions by as much as 30 percent.