Livestock farming is crucial for increasing farmer’s income. However, it contributes to climate change and is also affected by it. Elaborate the statement and discuss some measures that can be taken to make livestock farming more sustainable as well as climate resilient.
Livestock farming is practiced by 60% of the rural population. It acts as a secondary source of income for farmers. It is one of the major contributors of greenhouse gases like methane, however, it is affected by global climate change itself.
Contribution of livestock farming to climate change:
- Emission of methane, ammonia by ruminants (cows, buffaloes).
- Large amount of water is required (80 L water to produce 1 kg meat).
- Large energy required to produce fodder.
Effect of climate change on livestock farming:
- Increased fungal and bacterial diseases due to higher temperature.
- Reduction in milk yield due to large variation in temperatures.
Measures to make livestock farming sustainable:
- Free range cattle as opposed to industrial folder fed ones.
- Improvement in food processing technology – reduction in energy requirement.
- Improvements in transport infrastructure.
Measures for making livestock farming climate resilient:
- Development of disease resistant varieties.
- Promotion of natural crossing to preserve natural genetic variation.
The success of livestock farming depends on its adaptability and sustainability in an increasingly changing climate.