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Reducing Enteric Methane for improving food security and livelihoods

For an estimated 800 million resource-poor farmers, ruminant production is a pathway out of poverty. Ruminants are, however, a large contributor to GHG emissions, in particular enteric fermentation, the complex digestive process that allows ruminants to digest grass and other low-quality feeds, generates CH4 as a by-product.

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)’ ... [read more]

What is enteric methane?

Enteric fermentation is a natural part of the digestive process of ruminants where microbes decompose and ferment food present in the digestive tract or rumen. Enteric methane is one by-product of this process and is expelled by the animal through burping. Other by-products of the fermentation process are compounds which are absorbed by the animal to make milk and meat. The amount of enteric methane expelled by the animal is directly related to the level of intake, the type and quality of feed, the amount of energy it consumes, size, growth rate, level of production, and environmental temperature. [read more]

Why it is important

Addressing enteric methane can deliver
quick and immediate wins for climate change mitigation. [read more]

What can farmers do?

Relative to other global greenhouse gas abatement opportunities, enteric methane is among the lowest cost options. [read more]

Related documents


To learn more about low-cost strategies to reduce enteric CH4 emissions, click on the selected countries

[Argentina] [Bangladesh] [Ethiopian]

[Kenya] [Sri Lanka ] [Uruguay]




Areas of work

east africawest africawest africaeast africasouth asiasouth america