During this year’s Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) under the motto “shaping the future of livestock – sustainably, responsibly, efficiently” and in the framework of the International Green Week (IGW), DCZ attended to a Chinese Delegation from the Foreign Economic Cooperation Center (FECC) of the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture, Director General Mr Yang Yi and European Division Head and Chinese-side Managing Director of the DCZ Mr. Tang Zhishao visiting Berlin from 18th-21st January 2018.
Both very close partners of the DCZ were accompanying Mr. Qu Dongyu, Vice-Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture, who also took part in the 10th Berlin Agriculture Ministersꞌ Conference of around 70 states, EC and international organizations (OIE and FAO), the world’s largest meeting of agricultural ministers. As it is tradition, under the lead of German Federal Minister Christian Schmidt, the high-level meeting concluded in adopting a communiqué, whereby committing themselves to responsible and sustainable animal husbandry.
You will find the English version of the final communiqué and more background information at: www.bmel.de/GFFA-Kommunique_2018_EN
On 18th January, DCZ took advantage of the presence of all partners of the other BMEL-funded demonstration projects in China and hosted an internal coordination meeting.
On 19th January, part of FECC delegation’s agenda at the GFFA was the participation in an expert panel, co-organized by DCZ: „How can livestock production contribute to global food security? Farms and industries of the future in Asia and Eastern Europe” (see details here). For this event, DCZ has invited Mr. Fan Shenggen, Director General, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) as one of the four key speakers.
He recently provided his view on the developments in China with “Reforms key to a healthy agrifood sector”, in China Daily, 19th September 2017. See article here.
During the panel, Mr. Fan referred to the multiple challenges world food systems are facing and in particular highlighted China’s current domestic developments and structural changes of the livestock sector as well as its global role as one of the largest net importer of animal products.
There are huge imbalances of global animal product consumption and access constraints. In developed countries, the livestock sector must address the challenge of GHG emissions reductions (as it accounts for 15% of all human-induced emissions) through better animal and herd efficiency for ruminants, including better feed and feeding practices, improved breeding and animal health interventions and proper manure management to ensure recovery and recycling of nutrients and energy. As for priorities in developing countries, the sector is crucial to improve nutrition and human health and promote diet diversification, including multiple animal sourced foods, mitigate risk for food safety and zoonotic diseases and especially support smallholder livelihoods but also promote climate adaptation and mitigation.
Policies should ensure that livestock practices improve human nutrition, mitigate climate change, and support environmental sustainability. Mr. Fan stated e.g. that taxing emissions-intensive foods (meat and dairy) could avoid more than 100,000 deaths in 2020, which are due to changes in dietary risk factors and weight-related risk factors.
At large and as an underlining message of the whole GFFA event, site-specific, regionally adapted solutions need to be found and supported by sound policies. Modern production techniques, new technologies and the transfer of know-how are the key to developing livestock husbandry into a sustainable and efficient sector.