Transforming lives-The job creation potential of livestock transition

News: Around the world farmers are transitioning from livestock operations to plant-based operations.   

Why are farmers all over the world transitioning from livestock to plant based production? 

Demand for plant-based products is growing. 

Farmer specific issues-Animal farming usually has exploitative contracts, with poor working conditions, low income, high vulnerability to market forces and extreme stress.  

Industrialised livestock production is a dangerous business that posesAll Categories a serious threat to human health and psychological well-being. For instance, new strains of bird and swine flu,  which have the potential to become zoonotic diseases, emerge each year posing a major threat to human health. 

Many of the workers at these plants were from racialised communities and already face multiple socio-economic challenges that were exacerbated by the spread of the virus.  

Environmental concerns-The livestock sector is projected to account for up to 81% of the 1.5oC emissions budget by 2050 if production continues unabated. To remain within environmental limits and planetary boundaries, researchers have shown that the global production of animal-sourced foods must be reduced by at least half. 

What are the advantages of this a just livestock transition? 

According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), transitioning to environmentally and socially sustainable economies can drive job creation, create better jobs, increase social justice and reduce poverty. 

What is the way forward?

Farmers should be guided to identify new market opportunities for plant-based operations and access guidance on making the transition away from livestock production financially viable.  

These measures should also be complemented by policies aimed at increasing plant-based food consumption to prevent emissions leakage and to enable an overall transition. 

Source: This post is based on the article “Transforming lives-The job creation potential of livestock transition” published in Down to earth on 27th Dec 2021 

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