The Fight against antimicrobials

May 03, 2024


The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UN FAO) recently introduced a new initiative called RENOFARM (Reduce the Need for Antimicrobials on Farms for Sustainable Agrifood Systems Transformation). Aimed at reducing the use of antimicrobials in livestock, this initiative is set to transform agricultural practices globally.

RENOFARM will collaborate with various stakeholders, including governments, farmers, the private sector, and civil society organizations. This partnership aims to provide essential policy support, technical assistance, and opportunities for capacity building and knowledge sharing.

The initiative seeks to not only reduce antimicrobial use but also to enhance animal health and welfare, thus promoting a sustainable agrifood system.

The significance of this initiative is underlined by data from 2017, which shows that antimicrobial use in animals accounted for 73% of total global antimicrobial consumption. Addressing this issue is crucial for both human health and environmental sustainability.

"The persistent use of antimicrobials in livestock production is concerning for human health, animal welfare, and environmental sustainability," stated FAO Director-General QU Dongyu in his announcement.

He emphasized the need for "innovative pathways" to curb antimicrobial use and promote sustainable practices that not only safeguard public health but also the well-being of the planet while improving livestock productivity.

Currently, RENOFARM is being tested in the poultry sector in Indonesia, with plans to expand the program to over 100 countries. This global initiative aligns with the One Health antimicrobial resistance strategy promoted by the Quadripartite comprising the FAO, World Health Organization, World Organization for Animal Health, and the UN Environment Programme.

Through RENOFARM, the UN FAO is taking a critical step towards reducing the dependency on antimicrobials in agriculture, thereby protecting future generations and the environment.

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