The world’s meat production is expected to double by 2050, according to a United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization report. The State of Food and Agriculture report also says that the livestock sector is one of the fastest growing parts of the agricultural economy.
To meet rising demand, global annual meat production is expected to expand from 228 million tons currently to 463 million tons by 2050.
Investments, research and governance are required to ensure that the world’s livestock sector contributes to poverty reduction, food security, environmental sustainability and human health, FAO says.
The report stresses that livestock is essential to the livelihoods of around 1 billion poor people. Livestock provides income, high-quality food, fuel, draught power, building material and fertilizer, thus contributing to food security and nutrition. For many small-scale farmers, livestock also provides an important safety net in times of need.
The agency also stressed the need for substantial investments and stronger institutions at global, regional, national and local levels, to ensure that continued growth of the livestock sector mitigates environmental and health concerns.
Livestock contributes 40 percent of the global value of agricultural production and supports the livelihoods and food security of almost 1 billion people. Globally, livestock contributes 15 percent of total food energy and 25 percent of dietary protein. Products from livestock provide essential micronutrients that are not easily obtained from other plant food products.