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Reducing Enteric Methane for improving food security and livelihoods

Background

For an estimated 800 million resource-poor farmers, ruminant production is a pathway out of poverty. However, ruminants are a large contributor to greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions, in particular enteric methane (CH4).

Farming systems that are more productive generally have higher total CH4 emissions but much lower emissions per unit of product (also referred to as ‘emissions intensity (EI)’). Evidence shows that the EI of livestock production systems is higher in developing regions, where productivity is often lower than in industrialized countries and yet the demand for meat and milk output from these regions is growing fastest.

Improving productivity of ruminant livestock and efficiency of farm systems in developing countries is therefore a key to improve rural livelihoods and improve food security and to minimize GHG emissions from the sector at the same time.