How to Feed a Billion People

How to Feed a Billion People

It is still illegal here in New Zealand to use unprocessed harvested hemp, or hemp products such as baleage or silage, as animal feed.

Industrial Hemp or hemp products used as animal feed are regulated under the Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines (ACVM) Act 1997 and are classed as agricultural compounds. It is an offence against the ACVM Act to import, manufacture, sell or use any agricultural compound that is not authorised. Feeding unprocessed, harvested hemp to animals without registration is not permitted under the ACVM Act and may also be an offence under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

Shame. Livestock and fish could potentially be fed with hemp feed, freeing up more food for people.

Even with millions around the world facing the threat of famine or malnutrition, the production of feed for livestock and fish is tying up limited natural resources that could be used to produce more food for people. New research from Aalto University, shows how changing the type of feed for livestock and fish could maintain production while making more food available for people. These relatively simple changes would increase the global food supply.

Worldwide approximately a third of cereal crop production is being used as animal feed, and about a quarter of captured fish aren’t used to feed people. Matti Kummu, an associate professor of global water and food issues at Aalto University, led a team of researchers that investigated the potential of using crop residues and food by-products, (eg. hemp, we suggest), in livestock and aquaculture production to free up the human-usable material to feed people. The most common protein sources in livestock nutrition are currently soybean meal, canola meal, or fish meal. These traditional sources are costly and no longer viable, necessitating the need for alternative, sustainable protein sources for animal feeds.

Industrial hemp feed for livestock could well be part of the solution. But meanwhile, we wait… as regulators maintain their position that they need more evidence showing hemp is safe for animal consumption — and for the humans who eat animal products.


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