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May 27, 2024

FAO Launches 10-year Initiative to Reduce Need for Antimicrobials on Farms 

In a bid to address the challenges faced as a result of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) in the agricultural sector, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has disclosed a 10-year strategy to reduce the need for antimicrobials on farms.

In a statement made available on its website, the organisation stressed the need to launch a new, action-oriented program, country-focused initiative to address challenges such as animal and plant health, environmental conservation, and economic losses faced by farmers worldwide. This is essential for transforming the global agri-food system.

The Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization, Qu Dongyu, explained that the continued use of antimicrobials in livestock production could lead to severe consequences regarding human health, animal welfare, as well as environmental sustainability.

He urged global economies to explore alternative, sustainable practices that eliminate the need for antimicrobials. According to him, these practices should protect public health while still improving livestock productivity.

Dongyu also announced the launch of “Reduce the Need for Antimicrobials on Farms for Sustainable Agrifood Systems Transformation” (RENOFARM), a scheme  organised in partnership with the Rongchang District, Chongqing City, Chongqing Academy of Animal Sciences, and National Center of Technological Innovation for Pigs, with support from China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs. 

He said: “Working together with governments, farmers, private sector and civil society organisations and other actors, it will promote the “5 Gs” at the farm level: Good Health Services, Good Production Practices, Good Alternatives, Good Connections, and Good Incentives.”

The goal of the RENOFARM initiative is to empower nations to reduce their reliance on antimicrobials in livestock farming by providing policy support, technical assistance, capacity building, and knowledge sharing. 

This approach would prioritize animal health and welfare, mitigate environmental impact, and strengthen food security and nutrition, thus contributing to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals.

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