Dr. Katrien van’t Hooft, director of Dutch Farm Experience, presented the Natural Livestock Farming network strategy to reduce Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) and use of antibiotics in dairy farming.  On invitation of Steven Jaffee, World Bank Lead Agriculture Economist and Global Lead of the Food Quality Global Solutions Group, Katrien van’t Hooft, visited the World Bank for that purpose in February.

This visit is one of the outcomes of World Bank Learning Journey on Food Safety 9-13 November 2015, organized by the Food&Business Knowledge Platform. This is based on the ‘Food for All’ Partnership Agreement between World Bank Group and Netherlands ministry Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Economic Affairs.

NLF strategy towards responsible antibiotic use in dairy farming

The first presentation at World Bank on February 19 took place during a session on Food Safety during the yearly WB Agricultural Global Practice Forum. During this session the WB agricultural and human health specialists exchanged views with emphasis on Nutrition. The Natural Livestock Farming 5-layer integrated strategy to reduce antibiotic use in dairy farming was welcomed as a new and innovative approach to improve food quality. Meanwhile, it became clear that, although nutrition and safe food are gaining importance on the WB agenda, the emphasis on residues in food is still very limited.

On February 22, a special session took place on Dutch Farm Experience and Reducing Antibiotic Use in Dairy Farming at World Bank offices, organized by Agricultural Global Practice – and supported by the SecureNutrition Knowledge Platform. The session was well attended: World Bank officials from Agricultural and Health departments, and seven other institutes, including USDA, IFC, Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges and International Food Policy and Research Institute (IFPRI) showed great interest in the film Green Antibiotics, followed by the presentation Promoting Milk Quality and Productivity through Natural Livestock Farming.

During the events the intense discussions included topics like: importance of consumer awareness and pricing of residue-free milk, role of government regulations, ways to validate effects and safety of medicinal plants, the effects of antibiotic reduction on animal productivity, and the side-effects of the worldwide tendency to crossbreed local cattle with Holstein-Friesian semen for increased productivity.

There was general support for the integrated approach developed by the Natural Livestock Farming network, the potential of combining different knowledge domains to solve the problem of multi-resistant microbes, as well as the need to adapt education of veterinarians to the challenge of AMR and reduction of antibiotic use. Please see also the infographic (PDF) “Towards a worldwide production of residue-­free milk!”