Context

Climate change will severely affect agricultural and farming practice, with dramatic consequences for the livelihood and rural communities, among others and there is a urgent need of transition in order to ensure a healthy diet for everyone and mitigate and adapt to climate change.

The Mediterranean area will suffer dramatic changes in the near future due to climate change such as desertification, droughts and floods or extreme heat conditions. Thus, the area will have to face the transition towards a more sustainable agri-food sector in which livestock production will play a major role.

In order to modify all these patterns, it is necessary to introduce sustainable farming practices based on circular economy principles. New food chains must be environmentally friendly, foster local economies and consider social aspects. Feed production will be the mainstream of this change. SUSTAvianFEED presents tangible approaches for a more sustainable livestock sector by focusing on innovative and sustainable poultry feedings programs.

Objectives and contents

SUSTAvianFEED aims to demonstrate the efficacy of innovative poultry farming systems and the social effects in rural Mediterranean areas, with a specific focus on gender equality.

The main objectives of the SUSTAvianFEED are described below:

  1. to preserve avian biodiversity preservation by promoting the use of autochthonous poultry breeds or local hybrids;
  2. to develop a sustainable nutritional formula for poultry farming through the use of insects and the substitution of standard protein sources (as soybean or fishmeal) in the poultry feeding programs; Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) techniques or similar will be used to determine the sustainability improvements of our approach;
  3. to promote local economy, socioeconomic growth and local resilience of Mediterranean areas, by providing subsidiary incomes as well as high-quality meat and eggs, promoting the commercialization of local products and maximizing the incomes;
  4. to demonstrate the feasibility and suitability of alternative nutritional formula in Mediterranean areas: five pilots will be developed in four different Mediterranean countries (Tunisia, Turkey, Spain and Italy); furthermore social, environmental and economic analysis will be developed for each pilot;
  5. to improve animal health and welfare by Feeding birds with insects, that will improve their native behavior and gut health;
  6. to promote gender equality and empowerment of women; the project will engage rural women in pilot activities in Tunisia, so sustainable business models are developed for women socio-economic growth;
  7. to develop a multi-actor approach in which relevant actors of the whole value chain are involved; by implementing Living Labs activities, each pilot area will engage the relevant stakeholders of the different stages along the whole supply chain.

 

Impacts and expected results

SUSTAvianFEED has a great potential impact on farming practice and human social environment, as described below:

  1. reduction of at least 10-15% of GHGs emissions per kg of poultry feeding in comparison with the traditional ones;
  2. improvement of the use of agriculture by-products to produce insect will contribute to circular economy;
  3. contribution to poultry biodiversity preservation by promoting the use of authoctonous poultry breed and local hybrid in Spain, Italy, Tunisia and Turkey;
  4. reduction of feed cost by promoting the use of local by-products;
  5. promote mix crop-livestock systems, which include insect farming (to valorize agriculture waste), alternative poultry feeding practice (including insects and agriculture by-products), thus promoting circular economy;
  6. socioeconomic growth of small-scale farmers in the Mediterranean marginalized rural areas, thanks to high quality poultry products;
  7. implementation of the gender equality and women empowerment of the Mediterranean regions, with a specific focus in Tunisia.
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