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The interplay of knowledge and natural resources: 
Ensuring the health, wealth and 
environmental benefits of livestock 
T...
Key messages-1 
• With diminishing natural resources, 
we’ll have 10 billion people to feed 
by mid-century, many 
of whom...
Key messages-2 
• We can, and should, rely on the creation, 
diffusion and application 
of our primary ‘natural resource’ ...
Knowledge, food and natural resources: Pre-history
Humankind and natural resources before agriculture 
Long before 
recorded history, 
people depended 
on natural 
resources...
Humankind and natural resources before agriculture 
Before the advent 
of agriculture, 
each hunter-gatherer 
needed about...
Application of knowledge first transforms agriculture: 
Animals and plants are domesticated 
Some 7 to 9 
thousand years 
...
Humankind and natural resources 
at the dawn of agriculture 
Long before 
recorded history, 
people depended 
on animals f...
Exponential population growth 
Global population (millions) 
12000 
10000 
8000 
6000 
4000 
2000 
0 
-12000 -10000 -8000 ...
Billion ha land per 1 million population 
16 
14 
12 
10 
8 
6 
4 
2 
0 
-10000 -8000 -6000 -4000 -2000 0 2000
Billion ha land per 1 million population 
16 
14 
12 
10 
8 
Less than 2 ha per person − 
shared with at 6 
least 5 animal...
Knowledge, food and natural resources: Revolutions
Malthus portends famine diseases, but misses the 
transformative nature of agriculture technologies-1
Malthus portends famine diseases, but misses the 
transformative nature of agriculture technologies-2
Malthus portends famine diseases, but misses the 
transformative nature of agriculture technologies-3
0.025 
0.02 
0.015 
0.01 
0.005 
0 
Billion ha land per 1 million population 
1650 1700 1750 1800 1850 1900 1950 2000 2050...
US dairy carbon footprint in 2007 is 
37% of that in 1944 (per bn kg of milk)
The Green Revolution 
averts local ‘Malthusian catastrophes’
Application of knowledge, policy and research 
leads to impressive yield gains
Knowledge, food and natural resources: Contrasts
The (supply-led) Green Revolution was not universal
The Livestock Revolution 
is demand-led (not supply-led)
By 2050 we’ll need huge amounts 
of cereals, dairy and meat 
1bn tonnes more 
cereals to 2050 
1bn tonnes 
dairy each year...
4 of 5 highest value global commodities are livestock 
FAO 2013
% change in global demand for livestock products: 
2000–2030 
180 
160 
140 
120 
100 
80 
60 
40 
20 
0 
milk beef mutton...
Change in global and regional demand for food: 
Livestock and other commodities 
350 
300 
250 
200 
150 
100 
50 
0 
-50 ...
Gains in meat consumption in developing 
countries are outpacing those of developed 
300 
250 
200 
150 
100 
50 
0 
1980 ...
Consumption of livestock products 
to 2050 
• Globally: 
An overall increase in per capita daily consumption 
of livestock...
Knowledge, food and natural resources: 
Three plausible scenarios
Three plausible scenarios for livestock growth 
Scenario #1 
Developing countries meet 
livestock demand by 
importing pro...
Knowledge, food and natural resources: Accelerators
The unlimited natural resource 
of human will and ingenuity and innovations 
Knowledge advances agriculture, 
while agricu...
Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock-1 
• Global poverty 
and inequality 
cannot be addressed 
without investment 
in l...
Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock-2 
• Global 
environmental 
issues cannot be 
addressed without 
investment in 
li...
Key messages-1 
• With diminishing natural resources, 
we’ll have 10 billion people to feed 
by mid-century, many 
of whom...
Key messages-2 
• We can, and should, rely on the creation, 
diffusion and application 
of our primary ‘natural resource’ ...
better lives through livestock 
ilri.org 
The presentation has a Creative Commons licence. You are free to re-use or distr...
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The interplay of knowledge and natural resources: Ensuring the health, wealth and environmental benefits of livestock

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Presented by Jimmy Smith at the Tropentag 2014 Conference on Bridging the gap between
increasing knowledge and decreasing resources, Prague, 17−19 September 2014

Published in: Science
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The interplay of knowledge and natural resources: Ensuring the health, wealth and environmental benefits of livestock

  1. 1. The interplay of knowledge and natural resources: Ensuring the health, wealth and environmental benefits of livestock Tropentag 2014: Bridging the gap between increasing knowledge and decreasing resources 17−19 September 2014  Prague, Czech Republic Jimmy Smith  Director General  ILRI
  2. 2. Key messages-1 • With diminishing natural resources, we’ll have 10 billion people to feed by mid-century, many of whom will be consuming more meat, milk and eggs • Transformation of the livestock systems of developing countries is one of the biggest opportunities we have for a nourished, healthy, environmentally sound and equitable world
  3. 3. Key messages-2 • We can, and should, rely on the creation, diffusion and application of our primary ‘natural resource’ − scientific knowledge − to transform the future of livestock production • We can, and should, ensure that we grow our food and manage our natural resources for the benefit of all − and for all generations to come
  4. 4. Knowledge, food and natural resources: Pre-history
  5. 5. Humankind and natural resources before agriculture Long before recorded history, people depended on natural resources for their survival
  6. 6. Humankind and natural resources before agriculture Before the advent of agriculture, each hunter-gatherer needed about 6.5 sq km to catch wild animals and to gather wild foods
  7. 7. Application of knowledge first transforms agriculture: Animals and plants are domesticated Some 7 to 9 thousand years ago, people first domesticated large herbivores
  8. 8. Humankind and natural resources at the dawn of agriculture Long before recorded history, people depended on animals for their survival
  9. 9. Exponential population growth Global population (millions) 12000 10000 8000 6000 4000 2000 0 -12000 -10000 -8000 -6000 -4000 -2000 0 2000 4000 Series 1
  10. 10. Billion ha land per 1 million population 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 -10000 -8000 -6000 -4000 -2000 0 2000
  11. 11. Billion ha land per 1 million population 16 14 12 10 8 Less than 2 ha per person − shared with at 6 least 5 animals 4 2 0 Thousands of ha per person -10000 -8000 -6000 -4000 -2000 0 2000
  12. 12. Knowledge, food and natural resources: Revolutions
  13. 13. Malthus portends famine diseases, but misses the transformative nature of agriculture technologies-1
  14. 14. Malthus portends famine diseases, but misses the transformative nature of agriculture technologies-2
  15. 15. Malthus portends famine diseases, but misses the transformative nature of agriculture technologies-3
  16. 16. 0.025 0.02 0.015 0.01 0.005 0 Billion ha land per 1 million population 1650 1700 1750 1800 1850 1900 1950 2000 2050 2100
  17. 17. US dairy carbon footprint in 2007 is 37% of that in 1944 (per bn kg of milk)
  18. 18. The Green Revolution averts local ‘Malthusian catastrophes’
  19. 19. Application of knowledge, policy and research leads to impressive yield gains
  20. 20. Knowledge, food and natural resources: Contrasts
  21. 21. The (supply-led) Green Revolution was not universal
  22. 22. The Livestock Revolution is demand-led (not supply-led)
  23. 23. By 2050 we’ll need huge amounts of cereals, dairy and meat 1bn tonnes more cereals to 2050 1bn tonnes dairy each year 460m tonnes meat each year
  24. 24. 4 of 5 highest value global commodities are livestock FAO 2013
  25. 25. % change in global demand for livestock products: 2000–2030 180 160 140 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 milk beef mutton pork poultry meat eggs FAO 2011 %
  26. 26. Change in global and regional demand for food: Livestock and other commodities 350 300 250 200 150 100 50 0 -50 developed developing SSA SA % change 2005/07 to 2050 cereals root/tuber meat dairy Modified from Alexandratos and Bruinsma 2012
  27. 27. Gains in meat consumption in developing countries are outpacing those of developed 300 250 200 150 100 50 0 1980 1990 2002 2015 2030 Million metric tonnes developing developed FAO 2006
  28. 28. Consumption of livestock products to 2050 • Globally: An overall increase in per capita daily consumption of livestock products of 37% compared to 2000 • Commodities differ: – A 2% decrease in global per capita meat consumption – A 61% increase in global per capita milk consumption • Regions differ: – In 2000, Africa and Middle East consumed (in total calorie consumption) 60% fewer livestock foods than the EC – In 2050, this will be reversed: highest livestock consumption will be in Africa & Middle East, lowest in the EC Herrero et al. 2014
  29. 29. Knowledge, food and natural resources: Three plausible scenarios
  30. 30. Three plausible scenarios for livestock growth Scenario #1 Developing countries meet livestock demand by importing products Scenario #2 Developing countries meet livestock demand by importing knowledge Scenario #3 Developing countries meet livestock demand by transforming smallholder livestock systems
  31. 31. Knowledge, food and natural resources: Accelerators
  32. 32. The unlimited natural resource of human will and ingenuity and innovations Knowledge advances agriculture, while agriculture (the ‘mother of all inventions’) advances knowledge
  33. 33. Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock-1 • Global poverty and inequality cannot be addressed without investment in livestock • Global food security and health cannot be addressed without investment in livestock
  34. 34. Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock-2 • Global environmental issues cannot be addressed without investment in livestock • Investment in livestock needs to produce more, from less, in ways that benefit all
  35. 35. Key messages-1 • With diminishing natural resources, we’ll have 10 billion people to feed by mid-century, many of whom will be consuming more meat, milk and eggs • Transformation of the livestock systems of developing countries is one of the biggest opportunities we have for a nourished, healthy, environmentally sound and equitable world
  36. 36. Key messages-2 • We can, and should, rely on the creation, diffusion and application of our primary ‘natural resource’ − scientific knowledge − to transform the future of livestock production • We can, and should, ensure that we grow our food and manage our natural resources for the benefit of all − and for all generations to come
  37. 37. better lives through livestock ilri.org The presentation has a Creative Commons licence. You are free to re-use or distribute this work, provided credit is given to ILRI.

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