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Last update: May 2021

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About LiPh4SAS

Breeding is an activity which strongly structures, economically, regionally and environmentally, most agricultural regions in Europe. With a turnover of 165 billion euros, animal productions contribute around 45% of the final agricultural production of the EU. Globally, livestock support the livelihoods of at least 1.3 billion people (FAO, 2018).

However, the models that have prevailed in the development of livestock have been strongly questioned in recent years, either for:

  • the conditions of animal husbandry,
  • their environmental impacts,
  • health or nutritional
  • the working conditions and income of farmers.

A kind of consensus has emerged regarding the role of livestock in a necessary transition to more sustainable agricultural and food systems, based on the principles of agroecology.

Such an evolution presupposes in-depth changes to farming systems, which must in particular be more respectful of animal welfare, have positive impacts on the environment, be resilient to climate change while ensuring animal, humans and ecosystems health.

INRAE is firmly committed to this approach in its new strategic plan “INRAE2030” with the objectives of:

  • better preserving and enhancing the diversity of ecosystems,
  • understanding and mobilizing the adaptation mechanisms of populations,
  • ensuring the livestock transition and promote a comprehensive approach of health.

The Institute brings together a variety of skills in animal production, genetics, physiology, nutrition, health and manages long-term observatories, but also some experimental infrastructures, which are nested within European infrastructures, according to species: fish, cows and pigs.

  • The European Aquaculture community has been structured through the AquaExcel (2011-20215; FP7_INFRA-2010-1.1.11), AquaExcel2020 (2015-2020, H2020-INFRAIA-2014-2015), and then AquaExcel3.0 (2020-2025; H2020-INFRAIA-2019-1).
  • More recently, the SmartCow project (2018-2022; H2020-INFRAIA-2017-1) has made it possible to coordinate European cattle infrastructures.
  • Finally, the PIGWEB project (2021-2025; H2020-INFRAIA-2018-2020) will make it possible to structure the main European pig teams in the coming years.

However, the research challenges posed by the major issues (environmental, health, economic, social, technological) facing agricultural and food systems transcend production chains and will in future have to be addressed in a more systemic manner, including relationships between them and even though with crop systems.