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Weekly Overview: Poultry Will Continue to Feed the World

12 June 2014

GLOBAL - If efficiency can be achieved throughout the supply chain using new technologies, poultry meat and egg production can easily be raised to feed the world's growing population. That was the main conclusion of a report presented in London this week, writes Jackie Linden.

Concerns about feeding the global human population are not new but, according to one of the leading lights of the UK feed industry, there are good reasons for optimism that poultry meat and eggs will play a leading role in the solution to the problem of meeting the growing demand for animal proteins.

Speaking at the presentation of his report for the Temperton Fellowship in London this week, Nick Major said that with technical efficiency throughout the supply chain, the growing demand for poultry products can be met as the human population inches up towards nine billion in 2050.

Corporate Affairs Director for ForFarmers B.V. in the UK - a leading international feed company that includes BOCM Pauls in the UK - Mr Major said that demand for poultry meat will double by 2050 and that for eggs, the increase will be 64 per cent.

Looking at the UK's key feed ingredients of wheat and soybeans, he showed that projections for feed requirements for this level of production indicate adequate supplies of feed ingredients to support that level of poultry output.

Mr Major stressed that these increases will come from improved production efficiency throughout the supply chain rather than any significant expansion in the area of arable land.

"We need science to improve poultry productivity so that the growing demand for animal protein can be met in 2050 and beyond," stressed Peel Holroyd, chairman of the Temperton Trust, at the event.

Also on sustainability, the National Farmers Union of England has expressed its support for a University of Cambridge report that suggests collaboration is crucial to ensuring the careful management of our water resources. It is essential that farmers and growers can produce food in times of plenty and drought, the NFU said.

The poultry industry in Australia has joined forces with international bodies to develop guidelines to assess the sector's environmental burdens.

An interesting new research project at Scotland’s Rural College has revealed that feeding a herb mix can make chickens grow more efficiently.

And finally, turning to bird flu, China has reported four new human cases of H7N9 in people in the last week, one of whom has died. Another patient who had no known contact with live poultry appears to have become infected while nursing a relative. World Health Organization has published an overview of the emergence and characteristics of the influenza A(H7N9) virus infecting humans in China since early 2013.

Jackie Linden

Jackie Linden

Top image via Shutterstock





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