Potential and constraints in the development of animal industries in China



Over the past three decades, the growth in terrestrial livestock and aquatic animal production in China has been much faster than the annual increase of 1.92% in total grain production. It was estimated that farming animals, including aquatic animals, would require a total of 860 million tons of feed in 2008, comprising almost equal portions of concentrates, pastures, and crop straw. Grain production amounted to 528 million tons in 2008, about half of which were available for use in animal feed after satisfying demand for human consumption. This situation will not change in the near future. Pastures from the natural grasslands supply about 290 million tons of dry matter, and are also unlikely to increase. In contrast, only one third of the 890 million tons of crop straw was used as animal feeds. We conclude that the availability of grain and pasture is the major constraint to further expansion of animal production, as well as crop straw which is not fully utilised. China needs to strategically structure the industries of its herbivores and the other domestic species, and to develop sustainable faming systems based on its available feed sources. Copyright © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry