The State Of Food And Agriculture: Livestock In The Balance
According to this report from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the world would need to double its supply of meat by the year 2050 to meet growing demand; the global farmed animal sector currently produces 228 million metric tons (mmt) of meat.
The growing demand for meat products in developing countries originates from rising incomes, population growth, and urbanization. To meet this demand, global meat production should expand from 228 mmt (current) to 463 mmt by 2050. The cattle population is estimated to grow from 1.5 billion to 2.6 billion while the FAO expects the goat and sheep population to grow from 1.7 billion to 2.7 billion. Analysts also stress the importance of a “more sustainable livestock sector” to address this demand. Globally, nearly a billion people depend on farmed animal production for their livelihood.
The FAO identifies three challenges that face the farmed animal sector including “increasing pressure on ecosystems and natural resources, “globalization of food systems,” and “the social implications of the structural changes in the sector and the role of poor people in the process.”