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How animal protein can effectively feed millions

The World Food Prize took place October 16 and business leaders from two of the world’s largest population centres took this opportunity to provide insight into how their companies utilise animal protein to effectively feed their growing countries.

In the panel discussion, "Adapting to Change: The Role of Animal Protein in Feeding a Hungry World," President and CEO of Kemin Industries, Dr. Chris Nelson, led Balram Singh Yadav of India and Shouchun Wang of China in discussing how their countries, which are top poultry producers, utilise native resources, with some feed imports, to supply their people with high quality, animal protein products, all while confronting challenges such as the avian flu and drought.

During the opening of the dialogue, World Food Prize Foundation leader Dr. Kenneth Quinn, former US Ambassador to the Kingdom of Cambodia, questioned whether the world can sustainably feed the 9 billion people estimated to inhabit Earth by 2050. According to Balram and Wang, a solution lies in the use of animal protein. The panelists indicated that by utilising animal protein, such as poultry, pork, beef, fish, milk and eggs, farmers can provide the right type of protein required for humans and do so in a sustainable and economical way.

Balram, Managing Director of Godrej Agrovet, one of India's leading diversified agribusiness companies, and also of Godrej Tyson Foods, Ltd., noted that in 2012, India produced 7.5 million tons of animal-sourced protein, including milk, meat and eggs, but only 4.5 million tons from vegetable sources other than cereals.

"As India becomes richer and its middle class expands, we are seeing rapid growth of the animal protein industry. Though our per capita consumption of animal protein is much lower than the world average, it is rising rapidly. In the past five years, 37% of agricultural growth output came from animal protein. Within this category output of eggs and meat has risen faster and poultry the fastest" he said.

As founder and chairman of Shandong Xiantan Co. Ltd., the largest broiler integrator in Shandong and one of the leading broiler integrators in China, supplying broiler products to KFC and McDonald's, Wang said his country's goal is to provide healthy, high quality chicken meat to its people. With the idea of feeding the nation, China's farmers and businesses have had to make broiler farming environmentally friendly and secure the food supplies necessary to sustain production levels.

In ensuring high quality, healthy chicken, China imports soybeans for feed, but is using some of its own vegetable seed oils to replace some of the imported soybean meal used in the chicken feed.

To read more about the World Food Prize click here.

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