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Mexico Congress Speakers Say Feed Production Hurts Environment


A CONFERENCE on animal feed and human food has just ended in Cancun city, Mexico a couple of days ago. The third of its type, the conference, attended by participants from various parts of the world, brought together major stakeholders which included animal scientists, veterinarians, animal feed industry regulators from different economic blocks and other parts of the world, the major commercial feed manufacturers in the world and representatives of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, and the collaborating agency with International Federation of Industry Feedmillers (IFIF), who were the conveners.

The four-day event gave opportunity to highlight topical issues relating to food production. Dave Cieslak, president of IFIF, in his welcome address, notd that the greatest challenge facing humanity today was the food chain. He described the global trend in human population which demands for more grains, animal feeds and consequently more meat, milk and eggs in a sustainable system that protects the ecosystem.

The impact of animal production on climate change was highlighted by many speakers who presented papers on how to reduce Green House Gas (GHG) emissions from livestock. Dairy operations alone have been evaluated as contributing about 18 per cent of Livestock ozone-depleting gases into the atmosphere. A further fact presented was that one to three kilogrammes of carbon dioxide equivalent are generated into the atmosphere per kilogramme of milk produced. The major green house gases from ruminants are Methane, Carbon dioxide, etc. Data of GHG generation by different species of livestock in commercial operations were also presented.

At the conference, it was shown that animal scientists have developed new feed formulations that will reduce GHG production by animals to mitigate the negative impact of commercial operations on climate. Feedmillers thus agreed to manufacture animal feeds that are environmentally-friendly which will generate far less GHG by livestock and under new standards laid by regulators. Feed producers and Industry regulators thus agreed on new feed manufacturing standards presented from different economic blocks, particularly the European Union. The FAO Representative in Mexico, Daniella Battaglia, speaking at the opening ceremony presented updates from the FAO concerning food production and the environmental challenges.

The Nigerian Institute of Animal Science (NIAS) was represented at the conference by the the institute’s president, Professor Placid Njoku, and the registrar, Dr. Godwin Oyedele Oyediji. Oyediji observed that the new trend and information gathered at conference concerning new feed regulations, manufacturing standards, mixability checks, contaminants checks and other issues that address human and environment concerns will be of immense use to Nigerian operators, animal Scientists and the general consumers of livestock products.

According to Oyediji, feed millers in Nigeria will definitely have to comply with the new regulations for operating procedures, and use new standard feed formulae. He pointed out that NIAS Act No 26 of 2007 confers on it the powers to regulate all issues pertaining to animal husbandry in Nigeria. South Africa won the hosting rights for 2011 congress.

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