FAO discusses climate action in the livestock and dairy sectors in Egypt

By Manal Abdel Fattah

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) yesterday held its first roundtable discussion with the livestock and dairy sectors on climate action opportunities, bringing together agri-food companies, associations, financiers and other key private sector stakeholders.

The meeting aimed to explore how agri-food companies are affected by climate change, the extent to which these companies intend to invest in climate-friendly practices, and to identify the obstacles that prevent the implementation of the required climate measures, in addition to identifying the government support required to encourage these companies to invest in climate action.

In addition, the discussions aimed to study the financing options available from financing institutions and financiers to support climate change adaptation and mitigation measures in the field of livestock and dairy production in Egypt.

The meeting was organized under the Scaling Up Climate Action for Land Use and Agriculture through Nationally Determined Contributions and National Adaptation Plans (SCALA) programme, implemented in coordination between FAO and UNDP. Which provides support to Egypt and 11 other countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America to build resilience and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture.

Livestock, dairy and climate change
The livestock sector around the world is affected by and contributing to climate change. Global warming poses challenges to this sector in terms of growth, milk production and animal welfare. At the same time, livestock farming is a source of livelihood for many, including a large proportion of smallholder farmers in Egypt.

This is why addressing the impact of climate change on the livestock sector is a priority.

Abdel Hakim Al-Waer, Assistant Director-General of FAO and Regional Representative for the Near East and North Africa, said: “This dialogue within agri-food companies on the opportunities and barriers to climate action comes at the right time, as the two sectors of the agriculture sector, namely livestock and dairy, represent a priority in Egypt’s vision.” For climate change, as well as for food security, he added, “Engaging the private sector in this conversation is critical to implementing meaningful climate action.”

For his part, Ahmed Al-Wakeel, Deputy Director of the Animal Production Institute at the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, said, “This meeting is a good opportunity to exchange knowledge and implement innovative best practices that include updating and developing early warning programs to increase response measures for farms and dairy production factories to quickly deal with climate change threats.” Using climate-smart production systems, communications technology and digital transformation.”

Mr. Francis Abadir, a member of the Egyptian Dairy Production Association, explained, “Investing companies operating in the field of livestock and dairy production in applying climate-friendly practices is one of the necessary measures to ensure a better future for this industry in light of the rapid climate changes and their negative impacts. It is also an opportunity for these companies to do more.” “The coalition confronts climate change and other problems facing this sector.”

During the roundtable, participants highlighted climate-related challenges such as the impact of heat stress on the dairy and livestock industry, as well as rising input costs and feed prices. Examples of innovative practices followed by companies to address the impacts of climate change and reduce emissions were highlighted, such as ventilation infrastructure, changing feeding practices, improving feed production, building the capacity of milk collection centers on climate-resilient practices, adopting improved livestock varieties, and manure management. And other practices.

Representatives of the banking sector and financiers also reported on how they are offering green financial products in the form of bundled packages of technical assistance and low-cost loans.

Despite these efforts, they are often only pilot projects and there are barriers to scaling up climate action by stakeholders.

These include policy constraints and issues related to the operation, maintenance and know-how of technologies, limited collection and distribution services for smallholder farmers providing processing services to prevent extreme climate losses associated with climate change, and inability of smallholder farmers to access finance to adopt climate solutions.

About Scala
The five-year SCALA program (2020-2025) responds to the urgent need for increased action to deal with the impacts of climate change in the agriculture and land use sectors.

The €20 million program helps countries meet the Paris Agreement and other climate commitments by strengthening policies and adopting innovative approaches to climate change adaptation and mitigation, removing barriers related to information gaps, governance and financing, gender mainstreaming and integrated monitoring and reporting.

SCALA is funded by the German Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) through its International Climate Initiative (IKI).

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