Alternative Animal Feeds in Mediterranean Poultry Breeds to Obtain Sustainable Products.
The SUSTAvianFEED project offers a viable solution to promote sustainability in the livestock sector through the implementation of circular economy principles. It focuses on showcasing innovative poultry farming systems that incorporate sustainable animal feeding, with insects playing a crucial role in the development of a novel approach to poultry farming.
By embracing this approach, the project not only advances sustainable practices but also fosters local economies and strengthens the resilience of Mediterranean regions. By selecting local and adapted species, particularly beneficial for small-scale farming and marginalized sectors, the initiative generates supplementary income and provides nutritious meat and eggs. This promotes the commercialization of local products and maximizes income opportunities, contributing to socioeconomic growth in the area.
The livestock sector is responsible for about 14.5% of all human-induced emissions and consumes about 6 billion tons of feed material in dry matter each year, including one third of global cereal production. The need to provide viable and concrete alternatives to the current unsustainable models of production is more urgent than ever; animal farmers must adopt new feeding approaches, reducing soybean meal and cereals consumption to improve sustainability.
Feed production and processing account for the majority of the sector’s emissions due to the significant amount of energy, water and resource consumption and problems concerning land-use and the effects of deforestation. Agricultural systems policy should adopt a holistic approach, incentivize breeding programmes to improve biodiversity, safeguard environmental sustainability, and protect food quality and animal welfare.
The main goals of the project are:
- Develop a sustainable insect-based nutritional formula for use in poultry farming.
- Substitute protein sources that have a high environmental impact (such as soybean or fishmeal) in poultry feeding programs with regional agri-food sector byproducts in order to follow circular economy principles.
- Reduce the environmental impact of the poultry sector while promoting quality, safe and affordable products.
- Boost local economies, facilitate socioeconomic growth and enhance the local resilience of Mediterranean areas.
- Demonstrate the feasibility and suitability of alternative nutritional formulas in real poultry farming contexts.
- Improve animal health and welfare.
- Promote gender equality and the empowerment of women.
- Develop a multi-actor approach involving all relevant actors of the entire value chain.
Launched in 2021, the SUSTAvianFEED project brings together these esteemed entities from various countries, working collaboratively towards a common goal:
Sociedad Agraria de Transformación - ALIA (Project Coordinator)
Entomo Consulting S.L.
Institut Superieur Agronomique de Chott Mariem (Tunisia)
Rayhana NGO (Tunisia)
EGE University (Turkey)
University of Murcia (Spain)
University of Turin (Italy)
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