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Budget cuts starting in led to a decade of limited defence acquisitions. As a result, there is too little experience and training and insufficient staff in the acquisition workforce. About the author David Perry is the Senior Security and Defence Analyst of the Conference of Defence Associations Institute, and a doctoral candidate in political science at Carleton University where he studies defence privatization. Determining defence capability requirements is a complex activity that requires the careful balancing of many factors, not least of which is affordability.

If well implemented, the new challenge function within DND has the potential to be useful in demonstrating to Canadians that the development of military requirements is being done objectively and under independent scrutiny. The foundational flaw of the current strategy may increase the risk of systemic failure in the fielding and sustainment of military capabilities as well as the support of future operations.

A central theme of the strategy is an intent to engage more closely with Canadian industry in major defence acquisitions. However, this shift is relatively limited, focused on near- and mid-term economic results, and is not situated within a larger defence industrial strategy. Early and meaningful industry engagement is an aspiration that is much easier to articulate than achieve. It remains to be seen just how far the government is prepared to go to replace the arms-length approach of the past.

However, the Defence Procurement Strategy may ultimately prove to have been an important, if tentative, first step forward. About the author Colonel retired Charles Davies is a former Logistics officer who served for four years as the strategic planning director for the Materiel Group of DND and three years as the senior director responsible for materiel acquisition and support policy in the department.

In real terms, capital spending for major new equipment has declined four years in a row, and remains on a downward trend. The necessity to maintain reasonable expectations about achievable outcomes and the speed of current renewal initiatives at National Defence. Decisions made in the s still resonate today. Likewise, decisions made, or not made, today will have the same reach for decades to come.

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National Post. Filed under Full Comment. It's an odd 'freedom struggle' that sends 60, people fleeing to Canada for their lives, and let's not forget the autocratic tyrant who supplied the freedom-loving Americans with their guns.


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The Canadian Forces in 2025 Prospects and Problems

Comments Postmedia is pleased to bring you a new commenting experience. Sign in to Comment. Rapid population growth could continue to be an important impediment to achieving improvements in food security in some countries, even when world population as a whole ceases growing sometime during the present century. Another important factor determining demand for food is urbanization.

As of the end of , more people now live in urban settings than in rural areas UNFPA , with urbanization rates varying from less than 30 per cent in South Asia to near 80 per cent in developed countries and Latin America. The next few decades will see unprecedented urban growth, particularly in Africa and Asia. Urbanization has considerable impact on patterns of food consumption in general and on demand for livestock products in particular: urbanization often stimulates improvements in infrastructure, including cold chains, and this allows perishable goods to be traded more widely Delgado A third driver leading to increased demand for livestock products is income growth.

Between and , there was an annual global per capita income growth rate of 2. As income grows, so does expenditure on livestock products Steinfeld et al. Economic growth is expected to continue into the future, typically at rates ranging from between 1. Growth in industrialized countries is projected to be slower than that in developing economies Rosegrant et al.

Differences in the consumption of animal products are much greater than in total food availability, particularly between regions. Food demand for livestock products will nearly double in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, from some kcal per person per day in to around kcal per person per day in On the other hand, in most OECD countries that already have high calorie intakes of animal products kcal per person per day or more , consumption levels will barely change, while levels in South America and countries of the Former Soviet Union will increase to OECD levels Van Vuuren et al.

Past and projected trends in consumption of meat and milk in developing and developed countries. Data for — adapted from Steinfeld et al. Projections are shown in italic font. The agricultural production sector is catering increasingly to globalized diets. Retailing through supermarkets is growing at 20 per cent per annum in countries such as China, India and Vietnam, and this will continue over the next few decades as urban consumers demand more processed foods, thus increasing the role of agribusiness Rosegrant et al.

Global livestock production has increased substantially since the s. Carcass weights increased by about 30 per cent for both chicken and beef cattle from the early s to the mids, and by about 20 per cent for pigs FAO Carcass weight increases per head for camels and sheep are much less, about 5 per cent only over this time period. Increases in milk production per animal have amounted to about 30 per cent for cows' milk, about the same as for increases in egg production per chicken over the same time period FAO Data from FAO These changes have been accompanied by substantial shifts in the area of arable land, pastures and forest.

Arable and pasture lands have expanded considerably since the early s, although the rates of change have started to slow Steinfeld et al. Considerable expansion of crop land planted to soybean as a protein source in animal feed has occurred in Latin America over the last 30 years. Some cropland has been converted to other uses, including urban development around many major cities.

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Land-use intensity has increased in some places: cereal yields have trebled in East Asia over this time, while yields have increased not at all in sub-Saharan Africa, for example. Land-use change is complex and driven by a range of drivers that are regionally specific, although it is possible to see some strong historical associations between land abundance, application of science and technology and land-use change in some regions Rosegrant et al. In Latin America, for instance, land abundance has slowed the introduction of new technologies that can raise productivity.

Historically, production response has been characterized by systems' as well as regional differences. Confined livestock production systems in industrialized countries are the source of much of the world's poultry and pig meat production, and such systems are being established in developing countries, particularly in Asia, to meet increasing demand. Bruinsma estimates that at least 75 per cent of total production growth to will be in confined systems, but there will be much less growth of these systems in Africa.


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While crop production growth will come mostly from yield increases rather than from area expansion, the increases in livestock production will come about more as a result of expansion in livestock numbers in developing countries, particularly ruminants. In the intensive mixed systems, food-feed crops are vital ruminant livestock feed resources. The prices of food-feed crops are likely to increase at faster rates than the prices of livestock products Rosegrant et al.

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Changes in stover production will vary widely from region to region out to Herrero et al. Large increases may occur in Africa mostly as a result of productivity increases in maize, sorghum and millet. Yet stover production may stagnate in areas such as the ruminant-dense mixed systems of South Asia, and stover will need to be replaced by other feeds in the diet to avoid significant feed deficits. The production of alternative feeds for ruminants in the more intensive mixed systems, however, may be constrained by both land and water availability, particularly in the irrigated systems Herrero et al.

Meeting the substantial increases in demand for food will have profound implications for livestock production systems over the coming decades. In developed countries, carcass weight growth will contribute an increasing share of livestock production growth as expansion of numbers is expected to slow; numbers may contract in some regions. Globally, however, between and , the global cattle population may increase from 1. Ruminant grazing intensity in the rangelands is projected to increase, resulting in considerable intensification of livestock production in the humid and subhumid grazing systems of the world, particularly in LAC.

Data from Rosegrant et al. The prices of meats, milk and cereals are likely to increase in the coming decades, dramatically reversing past trends. Rapid growth in meat and milk demand may increase prices for maize and other coarse grains and meals.

Bioenergy demand is projected to compete with land and water resources, and this will exacerbate competition for land from increasing demands for feed resources. Growing scarcities of water and land will require substantially increased resource use efficiencies in livestock production to avoid adverse impacts on food security and human wellbeing goals. Higher prices can benefit surplus agricultural producers, but can reduce access to food by a larger number of poor consumers, including farmers who do not produce a net surplus for the market. As a result, progress in reducing malnutrition is projected to be slow Rosegrant et al.

Livestock system evolution in the coming decades is inevitably going to involve trade-offs between food security, poverty, equity, environmental sustainability and economic development. Historically, domestication and the use of conventional livestock breeding techniques have been largely responsible for the increases in yield of livestock products that have been observed over recent decades Leakey et al. At the same time, considerable changes in the composition of livestock products have occurred. If past changes in demand for livestock products have been met by a combination of conventional techniques, such as breed substitution, cross-breeding and within-breed selection, future changes are likely to be met increasingly from new techniques.

Of the conventional techniques, selection among breeds or crosses is a one-off process, in which the most appropriate breed or breed cross can be chosen, but further improvement can be made only by selection within the population Simm et al. Cross-breeding, widespread in commercial production, exploits the complementarity of different breeds or strains and makes use of heterosis or hybrid vigour Simm Such rates of change have been achieved in practice over the last few decades in poultry and pig breeding schemes in several countries and in dairy cattle breeding programmes in countries such as the USA, Canada and New Zealand Simm , mostly because of the activities of breeding companies.

Rates of genetic change achieved in national beef cattle and sheep populations are often substantially lower than what is theoretically possible. Ruminant breeding in most countries is often highly dispersed, and sector-wide improvement is challenging. Rates of genetic change have increased in recent decades in most species in developed countries for several reasons, including more efficient statistical methods for estimating the genetic merit of animals, the wider use of technologies such as artificial insemination and more focused selection on objective traits such as milk yield Simm et al.

The greatest gains have been made in poultry and pigs, with smaller gains in dairy cattle, particularly in developed countries and in the more industrialized production systems of some developing countries. Some of this has been achieved through the widespread use of breed substitution, which tends to lead to the predominance of a few highly specialized breeds, within which the genetic selection goals may be narrowly focused.

While most of the gains have occurred in developed countries, there are considerable opportunities to increase productivity in developing countries. Within-breed selection has not been practised all that widely, in part because of the lack of the appropriate infrastructure needed such as performance recording and genetic evaluation schemes. Breed substitution or crossing can result in rapid improvements in productivity, but new breeds and crosses need to be appropriate for the environment and to fit within production systems that may be characterized by limited resources and other constraints.

High-performing temperate breeds of dairy cow may not be appropriate for some developing-country situations: for example, heat stress and energy deficits make the use of Friesians in smallholdings on the Kenyan coast unsustainable, partly because of low cow replacement rates King et al. There is much more potential in the use of crosses of European breeds with local Zebus that are well-adapted to local conditions. In the future, many developed countries will see a continuing trend in which livestock breeding focuses on other attributes in addition to production and productivity, such as product quality, increasing animal welfare, disease resistance and reducing environmental impact.

The tools of molecular genetics are likely to have considerable impact in the future.

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For example, DNA-based tests for genes or markers affecting traits that are difficult to measure currently, such as meat quality and disease resistance, will be particularly useful Leakey et al. Another example is transgenic livestock for food production; these are technically feasible, although the technologies associated with livestock are at an earlier stage of development than the equivalent technologies in plants. In combination with new dissemination methods such as cloning, such techniques could dramatically change livestock production.

Complete genome maps for poultry and cattle now exist, and these open up the way to possible advances in evolutionary biology, animal breeding and animal models for human diseases Lewin Genomic selection should be able to at least double the rate of genetic gain in the dairy industry Hayes et al. Genomic selection is not without its challenges, but it is likely to revolutionize animal breeding. As the tools and techniques of breeding are changing, so are the objectives of many breeding programmes. Although there is little evidence of direct genetic limits to selection for yield, if selection is too narrowly focused there may be undesirable associated responses Simm et al.