UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has said that farmers could earn more and protect the environment by using technologies and practices that reduce the global warming gases that livestock emit.
This statement was issued by the FAO in its report of five case studies which suggested that the potential for mitigation is greatest among low-productivity ruminant producers in South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean.
NaijaAgroNet gathered from the report of the study that raising livestock such as pigs, cattle and poultry generates climate-altering gases with an impact equivalent to 7.1 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, representing 14.5 per cent of all human-caused greenhouse gas (GHC) emissions.
According to the report the challenge stem from reducing emissions while meeting the soaring demand for livestock products which is a demand that is projected to rise by more than 70 per cent between 2005 and 2050.
The FAO's Assistant Director-General for Agriculture and Consumer Protection, Ren Wang said that “only 10 per cent of producers currently use technologies which could, if taken up more widely, cut the emissions from all livestock species by up to 30 per cent while boosting production. Currently, the majority of the livestock sector's emissions originate from cattle, with beef production contributing 41 per cent and cattle milk production contributing 20 per cent.
“In terms of activities, the worst culprit is feed production and processing, which accounts for 45 per cent of emissions from livestock-related practices. This is followed by manure storage and processing, which is responsible for ten per cent of these emissions. In the case of ruminants, such as cattle, buffalo, sheep and goats, using better quality feeds would lower the amount of methane they emit during digestion as well as the quantity of nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide released by their decomposing manure.”