Feed the Future
This project is part of the U.S. Government's global hunger and food security initiative.

State of Research on Global Food Security and Sustainability of Livestock

A drafted peer-reviewed summary of current research on sustainability and global food and nutrition security issues was shared at the meeting of the Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock, held in Kansas in September 2019. It provides insights into several major issues and existing evidence related to livestock and animal-source foods.

The white paper’s six authors are eminent scientists from the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems and two universities, the University of Florida and Kansas State University. Lead author Dr. Geoffrey Dahl from the University of Florida was also a plenary speaker at the meeting. The paper, Animal source foods: contributions to food and nutrition security, is one of four background papers on sustainability domains shared with participants of the Multi-Stakeholder Partnership Meeting. The draft is available from the meeting’s website under a link for Food and nutrition security.  

The paper discusses food security in the context of human nutrition and a UNICEF framework for malnutrition. It covers definitions, threats, societal norms, and environmental issues related to livestock production and animal-source foods. Childhood development is a particular concern, and two figures provide a global context for stunting. The paper concludes with a discussion of policy implications for nutritional security.

An updated version of the paper is expected for publication in 2020.


Dahl, G., Hendrickx, S., Adesogan, A.T., Havelaar, A.H., McKune, S.L., and Vipham, J. 2019. Animal source foods: contributions to food and nutrition security. Multi-Stakeholder Partnership Meeting of the Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock, September 9-12, 2019, Manhattan, Kansas.


Interesting and relevant read! Looking forward to seeing the final version published and shared more widely.

  1. Beneficial impact of ASF among the vulnerable population are more or less accepted (dense, diverse with higher biodigestibility)
  2. I would prefer to focus on one issue (e.g why vulnerable groups require improved nutrition, what additionality ASF has in achieving this and how is this possible) rather than several issues related to livestock (environment, obesity, diseases, food-feed competition, climate change etc.)
  3. Improved animal productivity need not necessarily positively impact the vulnerable groups (e.g. 22% of the total population of children). Out of these 22%, may be >90% are from poor households and ASF is relatively expensive.  Targeting, is therefore the key. 
  4. Policy and institutional mechanisms may be discussed in detail with examples showing how affordability, accessibility and awareness can be increased (some countries have food surplus but still several millions there are below poverty line) 
  5. ‘What innovations are possible and can be tested to enhance affordability and accessibility of ASF’ should be the focus of discussion in the paper (generally people give sweeping statements with no concrete suggestions to test).