Contribution of Livestock Production to Climate Change and Mitigation Options: A Review

  • JM Chah
  • EM Igbokwe


An attempt is made to understand the role livestock production plays in climate change and to identify mitigation strategies to cap or reduce greenhouse (GHG) emissions. Scientific literature on farm animal production and documented GHG emission, as well as mitigation strategies were synthesized and used for the study. Results show that animal agriculture sector is responsible for approximately 18%, or nearly one-fifth of human induced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In nearly every step of meat, egg, and milk production, climate changing gases are released into the atmosphere potentially disrupting weather, temperature and ecosystem health. As the number of farm animals increases, so do their GHG emissions. Cattle rearing alone generate more global warming GHGs, as measured in carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent, than transportation. Immediate and far reaching changes in current animal agriculture practices and consumption patterns are both critical if GHGs from the farm animal sector are to be mitigated. However, the approaches that best reduce emissions depend on local conditions and therefore vary from region to region. In Nigeria emission of GHGs is generally low based on low per capita energy and other resource consumption. However, it is expected that there will be future rise as a result of increased numbers of livestock and high population growth rate with corresponding increase in per capita energy and other resource consumption. The assessment of options to reduce future GHG emissions is considered an important contribution to sustainable development of Nigeria. Efficacious plants peculiar to the Nigerian environment and conditions should be planted and maintained around cities. Also government should support waste management in all the states in Nigeria to have a sequel structure to safe disposal of organic matter from cattle.

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