The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has announced the launch of the Reduce the Need for Antimicrobials on Farms for Sustainable Agrifood Systems Transformation (RENOFARM) initiative, a global 10-year effort to mitigate the growing public health threat that is antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The initiative has already been piloted in Indonesia, Uganda, and Nigeria, but FAO aims to expand its reach to more than 100 countries.

The purpose of RENOFARM is to provide countries with policy support and technical assistance while facilitating capacity-building and knowledge-sharing to help reduce the need for antibiotics in livestock production, helping to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for 2030.

Working together with governments, farmers, the private sector, civil society organizations, and other stakeholders, RENOFARM will promote “5 Gs” at the farm level: Good Health Services, Good Production Practices, Good Alternatives, Good Connections, and Good Incentives. FAO will implement the project in alignment with its One Health Quadripartite partners—the World Health Organization (WHO), the UN Environment Program (UNEP), and the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH).

More than 200 experts from around the globe gathered in Rongchang, Chongqing, China from April 25–26, 2024 for the International Symposium on Pathways to Reduce the Need for Antimicrobials to Support Sustainable Livestock Transformation. A goal of the meeting in Chongquing was to agree on actionable next steps and concrete commitments for the RENOFARM initiative, ahead of the 2024 UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting on AMR in September and the fourth High-Level Ministerial Conference on AMR in November. At the end of September, FAO will also host the first-ever Global Conference on Animal Health Innovation, Reference Centers, and Vaccines, the aim of which is to share insights and identify actions to improve animal health, combat AMR, and promote sustainable livestock transformation.

Indonesian Pilot

RENOFARM is already being piloted in the poultry sector in Indonesia’s Lampung province. With the support of government agencies and other local stakeholders, a Farmers Field School (FFS) focused on empowering farmers at the community level is being established to build farmers’ capacity and awareness regarding AMR control. Using training materials based on local experience and best practices, RENOFARM trained 20 FFS facilitators and trialed the concept with approximately 20 local poultry farmers.

A focus group discussion held as part of the Indonesian pilot showed improvements among broiler chicken farms in Lampung Province regarding livestock management practices, especially the transition to a semi-closed cage system. This change has positively impacted biosecurity practices and efforts to reduce antimicrobial use. However, antibiotic programs for chicks are still being carried out due to concerns about the quality of chicks and farmer biosecurity discipline.

Other pilots are underway in Uganda and Nigeria.