The full report is now available on the FAO website

The new publication of the FAO State of Food and Agriculture (SOFA) 2009: “Livestock in the balance” is planned to be officially launched during January 2010. The State of Food and Agriculture, FAO’s major annual flagship publication, aims at bringing to a wider audience balanced science-based assessments of important issues in the field of food and agriculture. Each edition of the report contains a comprehensive, yet easily accessible, overview of a selected topic of major relevance for rural and agricultural development and for global food security.

Key messages of the report are:

  • The livestock sector is expanding rapidly, driven by population growth, rising affluence and urbanization.
  • Decisive action is required if increasing demand is to be met in ways that are environmentally sustainable and contribute to poverty alleviation and improved human health.
  • The contribution of the livestock sector to poverty alleviation should be enhanced through appropriate policy reform and investments within a framework of broader rural development policies.
  • Governance of the livestock sector should be strengthened to ensure that its development is environmentally sustainable and that it both adapts to and contributes to mitigating climate change.
  • The neglect of animal-health systems in many parts of the world must be redressed, and producers at every level must be involved in the development of animal-disease and food-safety programmes.