In Asia, the consumption of animal products has been steadily increasing, thus creating a greater demand for feed crops. As the quality of life progresses, demand for animal protein also increases.
A rapid increase in the demand for animal products, together with the changes in international trade, has led to a great expansion of food industry in China. Livestock production has been growing faster than any other agricultural sub-sector in China in recent decades, mainly due to the substantial growth of pig and poultry industries.
China hosts 20% of the world’s population but occupies only 7% of the land area, and an even smaller percentage, a minimal area of 1.2 million km2, can be used as farmland for agriculture. China is researching the development of a variety of transgenic crops aimed at producing a greater yield of plant feedstuffs such as corn, soybean, rice, and wheat.
The Meat Quality Modulation Project seeks to significantly enhance animal welfare and quality of animal products.
In the next 5 to 10 years, even greater challenges will be encountered in meeting an ever increasing demand for animal protein products in developing countries. Therefore, there is an urgent need for new technological innovations in livestock production to ensure global food security and the stability of global economy.