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FAO Assistance Towards Feed Analysis. Increasing incomes, improving food safety and safeguarding the environment







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    Developing a small ruminant industry in the Caribbean
    Issue brief 6, April 2014
    2014
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    Over the next few decades, a growing population, rising affluence and urbanization will significantly impact global food production. With average incomes set to increase, the demand for meat and meat products in particular is rising at a rapid rate, particularly in developing countries. Recent estimates by the Food and Agriculture Organization project an increase of 70% in meat consumption by the time the world’s population reaches 9.6 billion in 2050. The small ruminant industry is ideally plac ed for intensification and development. On the production side, sheep and goats are well suited to the wide range of both geophysical and socio-economic conditions commonly encountered in the region. Small ruminants are able to convert low quality forages and feeds into high quality products; are small in size; use minimal land space and require low capital investment per head, making them ideal livestock for resource poor Caribbean farmers.
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    Enhancing animal welfare and farmer income through strategic animal feeding
    Some case studies
    2013
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    Animal welfare includes the combination of both physical and mental well-being. A properly balanced diet and water supplied in adequate amounts avoid physical and psychological suffering from hunger and thirst; furthermore correct nutrition is crucial for optimal performance and to sustain optimal fitness. So far little attention has been paid to understand the linkages between animal nutrition and animal welfare. Farmers find it difficult to adopt practices that promote animal welfare without h aving sound information on the impact of such practices on animal productivity and their income. This AGA Paper presents a series of case studies to document existing practices that enhance animal welfare as well as farmers’ incomes. It is hoped that the information contained will encourage researchers and agencies working in the area of animal welfare to initiate studies to capture the impact of any intervention on farmers’ incomes – an area that has been neglected to date. It is also envisaged that these studies could pave the way for developing guidelines and policy options to promote sustainable animal feeding that enhances animal welfare, animal productivity, animal product quality and profitability.
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    Climate change and the characterization, breeding and conservation of animal genetic resources
    Animal Genetics - Immunogenetics, Molecular Genetics and Functional Genomics
    2010
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    Livestock production both contributes to and is affected by climate change. In addition to the physiological effects of higher temperatures on individual animals, the consequences of climate change are likely to include increased risk that geographically restricted rare breed populations will be badly affected by disturbances. Indirect effects may be felt via ecosystem changes that alter the distribution of animal diseases or affect the supply of feed. Breeding goals may have to be adj usted to account for higher temperatures, lower quality diets and greater disease challenge. Species and breeds that are well adapted to such conditions may become more widely used. Climate change mitigation strategies, in combination with ever increasing demand for food, may also have an impact on breed and species utilization, driving a shift towards monogastrics and breeds that are efficient converters of feed into meat, milk and eggs. This may lead to the neglect of the adaptation potential of local breeds in developing countries. Given the potential for significant future changes in production conditions and in the objectives of livestock production, it is essential that the value provided by animal genetic diversity is secured. This requires better characterization of breeds, production environments and associated knowledge; the compilation of more complete breed inventories; improved mechanisms to monitor and respond to threats to genetic diversity; more ef fective in situ and ex situ conservation measures; genetic improvement programmes targeting adaptive traits in high-output and performance traits in locally adapted breeds; increased support for developing countries in their management of animal genetic resources; and wider access to genetic resources and associated knowledge.

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