News - November 11, 2004

China top meat producer

By 2020 one third of the world’s meat will come from China. According to Professor Arie Kuyvenhoven, speaking at a congress on animal production and poverty last week. Is global meat production a blessing or a curse? This was the central question at the International Conference on Agriculture and Development on 4 November. What goes on in western countries is totally irrelevant compared with the developments in China and other developing countries. This much at least was clear, said Professor Arie van Kuyvenhoven in his introductory speech. According to predictions made by IFPRI (International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington) China will be producing one third of the world’s meat by 2020. Consumption of meat more than doubled in the fifteen years up to 1997, reaching an average of 43 kg per person. This is nowhere near the figure for North Americans, who eat an average of 120 kg each year. In India, average meat consumption is a mere four kg per year. / JT