Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, has underscored the significance of sustainable livestock and animal-sourced foods in addressing global food security and nutritional needs, particularly for vulnerable populations. Minister McConalogue highlighted this during a high-level ministerial discussion at the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) headquarters in Rome. The discussion took place during the first Global Conference on Sustainable Livestock Transformation organised by the FAO, which concluded after three days.
During the conference, Minister McConalogue stressed the need for sustainable livestock systems to be an integral part of strategies aimed at tackling climate change and the impact of food systems on global warming. He also emphasised the importance of animal protein in sustainable and healthy diets. The minister further highlighted the commitment of Irish farmers to finding solutions to the environmental challenges associated with livestock production.
In terms of Ireland’s environmental focus in agriculture, Minister McConalogue stated that efforts are being made to reduce emissions, increase carbon removals through land and forest management, and generate energy through biomass, solar PV, and the development of a biomethane industry. He added that Ireland’s Food Vision 2030 aims for sustainability in all aspects, including environmental, economic, and social dimensions, with sustainable livestock systems playing a crucial role in the country’s agri-food sector.
During his visit to the FAO, Minister McConalogue also had a meeting with FAO Director General Qu Dongyu and engaged in a discussion on sustainable livestock transformation with agricultural students participating in the Global Youth Dialogue.
The three-day conference, attended by over 700 participants, including 27 ministers or senior government officials, and 100 youth representatives, concluded with a call from FAO Director General Qu Dongyu for concrete actions to be taken to address the challenges discussed during the event. The FAO highlighted that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for the agriculture sector, which supports over 1.7 billion people, and opened the first Global Conference on Sustainable Agricultural Mechanisation in Rome, which will continue for the next three days.