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Source: Livestock Matters news release

To view the complete report, click here.

The global livestock sector comprises over 1.3 billion farmers, ranchers, producers, processors, and companies around the world who collectively provide most of the world's animal products - milk, meat, eggs, aqua and other products. These range from smallholders to larger operations - the scale and diversity of animal agriculture means it plays a vital role in sustainable food production.

With the growing efforts within the global community to strengthen food systems, it is important to evaluate the contributions of livestock and identify how these efforts can deliver positive, productive proposals that will re-ignite efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Nutritional and Social Contributions
Animal-sourced foods provide 18% of global calories and 39% of protein intake. Due to its nutrient density, it is an important nutrition source for the 2 billion suffering from 'hidden hunger' and the 141 million children who experience stunting.

Livestock produce these calories primarily by eating foods that are inedible to people such as grasses, crop residues and by-products, which is why the FAO has said animals like cattle 'contribute directly to global food security.' With 2/3rds of the world's agricultural lands being permanent meadows and pastures, livestock also offer a way to produce food in areas that would otherwise be unproductive. This will help strengthen food security as urban centers grow and our population rises to almost 10 billion by 2050.

Economic Contributions
1 in 6 people worldwide depend on animal agriculture for their livelihood, creating a sector that contributes US$1.27 trillion to global economies and 40% of agricultural GDP. FAO calls livestock 'the world's third most important source of income" and 'an asset for economic resilience and income'.

Livestock offer a form of financial security and during drought, flood, or conflict it is relocatable. With women representing 66% of the world's poor livestock keepers, this directly supports the UN's goal of strengthening their resilience.

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