This week Katrien van’t Hooft, director of Dutch Farm Experience, presented the experience of the Natural Livestock Farming network related to the strategy developed to reduce antibiotics in dairy farming in two World Bank meetings.
How to reduce antibiotics in dairy farming?
On invitation of Steven Jaffee, Lead Agriculture Economist and Global Lead, Food Quality Global Solutions Group (GSG), the first presentation was on February 19 during a session on Food Safety during the yearly WB Agricultural Global Practice Forum. During this session the WB agricultural and human health specialists exchanged views with emphasis on Nutrition. The Natural Livestock Farming 5-layer integrated strategy to reduce antibiotic use in dairy farming was welcomed as a new and innovative approach to improve food quality. Meanwhile, it became clear that, although nutrition and safe food are gaining importance on the WB agenda, the emphasis on residues in food is still very limited.
On February 22 a special session on Dutch Farm Experience and Reducing Antibiotic Use in Dairy Farming at World Bank offices, organized by Agricultural Global Practice – and supported by SecureNutrition Knowledge Platform was well attended. World bank officials from Agricultural and Health departments, and seven other institutes, including USDA, IFC, Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges and International Food Policy and Research Institute (IFPRI) showed great interest in the film Green Antibiotics followed by the presentation Promoting Milk Quality and Productivity through Natural Livestock Farming.
During the events the intense discussions included topics like: importance of consumer awareness and pricing of residue-free milk, role of government regulations, ways to validate effects and safety of medicinal plants, the effects of antibiotic reduction on animal productivity, and the side-effects of the worldwide tendency to crossbreed local cattle with Holstein-Friesian semen for increased productivity.
There was general support for the integrated NLF approach, the potential of combining different knowledge domains to solve the problem of multi-resistant microbes, as well as the need to adapt education of veterinarians to the challenge of AMR and reduction of the use of antibiotics and other chemicals in dairy farming.