Changing diets favour meat and milk producers: FAO

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meat and milk

An employee carries hens at a poultry farm in the Belarus village of Dubovliany on January 29, 2014
© AFP/File Viktor Drachev

Rome (AFP) – The UN food agency FAO on Friday predicted that global farming will move increasingly towards meat and milk production and away from traditional rice and grain agriculture in line with changing consumer tastes.

The joint report by the Food and Agriculture Organisation in Rome and the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) of 34 leading world economies contained price and production forecasts to 2023.

By then, the report said that world meat production will have gone up by 58 million tonnes — with developing countries making up 80 percent of that increase.

The biggest gains will be for poultry — 50 percent of the total — and pork at 30 percent, the FAO and OECD said, adding that poultry was an inexpensive source of protein that was not subject to any religious or cultural bans.

“Livestock and biofuel production are projected to grow at higher rates than crop production,” it said.

“This changing structure of global agricultural production prompts a relative shift toward coarse grains and oilseeds to meet demands for food, feed and biofuel, away from staple food crops like wheat and rice,” it added.

The report also found that China’s population alone will make up half of the global increase in meat consumption.

It said cereal prices would continue falling for up to two years but then stabilise to pre-2008 levels, while meat, milk and fish prices would rise.

The biggest production rises will come in Asia and Latin America and the Americas as a whole will strengthen their dominant position on world markets, while Africa and Asia will have to up imports to feed growing domestic demand.

© AFP

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