Feeding 9 billion people in 2050: a new challenge for animal production ?

In 2050, the world population should reach 9bn and it is estimated that +60% of food would be needed, including the animal proteins. It is then necessary to create a sustainable food system that takes into account the disparities in production systems but also ensures food security, good nutrition and sustainability for future generations worldwide. So what are the alternatives and challenges for animal production? 

Insect proteins: easy to produce, they require 5 times less feed and 10 times less time than for breeding ruminants, with the same protein content. However, we won't find these proteins on our plates right now as insect-based protein alternatives first need a clear regulatory framework. 

Plant proteins: The current alternative trends of reducing or stopping meat consumption, such as flexitarism and veganism are leading part of the population to consider plant-based products and to leave behind food from "animal production". However, plant-based products cannot at this stage cover all our proteins needs. Indeed animal proteins are often more easily assimilated, and have a better nutritional balance for human beings. Besides, livestock farming makes use of non-arable land or co-products of plant production that cannot be consumed by humans. Finally, 1 billion of the world's population lives below the poverty line and has only livestock to provide proteins in their diet.

Nowadays, consumers ask for friendly animal husbandry, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, ensuring healthy and sustainable food. Therefore, durability (life cycle analysis, charters of good practice, quality standards), antibiotics resistance and product transparency are all the challenges animal production will have to face in the next coming years. 

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