Approximately two billion people face moderate or severe food insecurity,1 unable to obtain enough food every day, creating a serious humanitarian and national security problem. Additionally, more than 800 million people face undernutrition in which their habitual food consumption is insufficient to provide the dietary energy levels that are required to maintain a normal active and healthy life.2 The solution for this enormous and complex problem must include increased food production both globally and in the countries with the greatest food insecurity.
Important aspects of the issue include the following:
- Global food security is impossible without global food sufficiency.
- With increasing populations and purchasing power in developing countries, demand for animal products will increase dramatically during coming decades.
- Global food insecurity may be exacerbated by global pandemics, which can disrupt feed and food supply chains, increase feed costs, and depress animal protein prices, thereby upsetting production economics and limiting availability of animal protein products to developing markets.
- Crop yields and animal efficiency are substantially lower in developing countries than in developed ones, providing opportunity for rapid improvement.
- Past success shows that necessary increases in food production require significant public investments in research, extension, and education.
- Public research and educational funding directed to food production has been chronically underfunded in the United States and globally.3
- Agricultural development involves not only farming technology, but also infrastructure such as roads, supply and marketing chains, banking, legal systems, and others.
- Livestock benefit smallholders in resource-poor regions by utilizing non-food biomass as a source of essential nutrients and as a cash reserve.
FASS strongly supports all efforts to enhance international agricultural development to promote global food security, and emphasizes that animal production must be an integral component of developing agricultural systems.
- Promote awareness of the food situation in developing countries among the US population to build support for international agricultural development.
- Provide targeted development programs and locally relevant research, extension, and education to support food systems, including livestock production.
- Address the impacts of climate change on agriculture, including livestock production, and the environmental sustainability of food production systems.
- Increase the supply of animal products to improve the nutritional status and health of people in the developing world.
Reviewed and revised by FASS Science Policy Committee on January 26, 2022
Adopted by the FASS Board of Directors on October 27, 2022
For more information, please contact FASSPolicyStatements@assochq.org
1http://www.fao.org/sustainable-development-goals/indicators/212/en/. Accessed 25 March, 2020.
2http://www.fao.org/sustainable-development-goals/indicators/211/en/. Accessed 25 March, 2020.
3https://www.ift.org/2020fundingwhitepaper. Accessed 25 March, 2020.