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Changes in global livestock and aquaculture sectors : a review of trends and their implications for societies and the environment

Inra Prod.Anim., 24 (1), 9-22

P. Gerber¹ , C. Brugère², P. Ankers¹

1 FAO-OAA, Organisation de l’Alimentation et de l’Agriculture des Nations Unies, Division de la Production et de la Santé Animale, Rome, Italie

2 FAO-OAA, Organisation de l’Alimentation et de l’Agriculture des Nations Unies, Division de l’Utilisation et de la Conservation des Ressources de Pêches et de l’Aquaculture, Rome, Italie

Animal production undergoes rapid growth and structural changes. This trend will continue over the coming decades, driven primarily by an increasing purchasing power among urban populations. A comparative analysis of livestock production, including terrestrial animals, and aquaculture, brings out both similarities and differences between these two sectors. Both poultry and omnivorous fish production are growing rapidly, effectively meeting demand for animal proteins. This sustained growth is possible thanks to the use of short cycle species with high feed conversion ratios. Products from these two sub-sectors also compete on similar markets. On the other hand, carnivorous fish production may are comparable to intensive ruminant production for their greater feed require ments, either quantity or quality wise. Ruminants can however also feed entirely on plant material that has no use for human consumption and thus broaden the trophic base of societies. The increase in global demand for animal proteins and tighter competition for natural resources forces livestock and aquaculture production to use resources more efficiently. Both sectors have grown and changed very quickly, often outpacing the development of public policies. This process often resulted in poor management of public goods and requires the development of appropriate policies and institutions.

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