Knowledge base - detail

Title Towards sustainable animal diets: A survey-based study

Animal feed and feeding is pivotal to livestock production. Animal productivity, health and welfare, product quality and safety, producers’ income, household security, but also land use and land use change, water pollution and greenhouse gas emission are affected to a great extent by diet selection and how a diet is fed to livestock. Also animal feed and feeding directly or indirectly affects the entire livestock sector and associated services. Through consultative processes a concept has been developed of sustainable animal diets (StAnD), integrating the importance of protecting the environment, efficient use of natural resources, socio-cultural benefits, and ethical integrity and sensitivity, in addition to currently recognized nutrition-based criteria in producing safe and economically viable feed. The concept is based on the Three-P dimensions of sustainability (PlanetPeople and Profit), complemented by a further vital aspect, namely the ethics of using a particular feed. The analysis reported here derives from 1195 respondents worldwide. The opinions reflected were from both developing (59%) and developed countries (41%). Respondents ranged across academia, industry, farmers’ associations, government organizations, non-governmental organizations and inter-governmental organizations. This survey has identified directions for positive change that should be followed in the production and feeding of StAnD. That positive change is dictated by higher importance assigned to the PlanetPeople and Ethics dimensions, and lower to the Profit dimension. The survey has also prioritized elements of the sustainability dimensions of StAnD, and identified sectors that should take the initiative, and has also presented modalities for incorporating the StAnD concept into practice. These could be the focus in follow-up studies and actions. Also the study has laid foundation for developing: (a) a global framework for multi-criteria evaluation of feed resources, based on the sustainability dimensions, (b) a basis for monitoring of the R&D priorities of R&D organizations and donors, and to align them to the needs of the animal production system, and (c) a framework for future R&D needs and priorities, driven by sustainability principles.

Author/Corporate Author H. Makkar, P. Ankers
Type Thematic Papers
Year 2014
Pages 13