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Learning Event No. 3: Highlights. ARDD2012, Rio

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Highlights from Learning Event No. 3: "LivestockPlus - How can sustainable intensification of livestock production through improved feeding practices help realize both livelihood as well as environmental benefits?", at the 2012 Agriculture and Rural Development Day in Rio de Janiero.

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Learning Event No. 3: Highlights. ARDD2012, Rio

  1. 1. LivestockPlus: Realizing both livelihood and environmental benefits through improved animal feeding practicesNathan Russell, Head, Communications, CIAT
  2. 2. Key messages1. Contrary to much conventional thinking, livestock have huge potential to create environmental benefits while also improving rural livelihoods.2. Feeding practices like improved tropical forages (e.g., in silvopastoral systems) and high-fodder value crops are key to success.3. Tropical forages can sequester large amounts of carbon – on a scale similar to that of forests – and also reduce emissions of nitrous oxide and methane per unit of livestock.
  3. 3. Evidence of impact1. A recent review article compiles substantial evidence that wider use of these forages could significantly reduce global GHG emissions.2. Improved livestock feeding practices in Brazil, backed by strong tax incentives, have resulted in significant avoidance of GHG emissions.3. In India, research on crops with better fodder value suggests they could lower methane emissions from dairy production by a third.
  4. 4. Going to scale• In addition to clear productivity benefits , farmers need other incentives for widespread adoption of improved feeding practices, as demonstrated by experience in Brazil.• One option worth exploring is to include improved forages and silvopastoral systems in PES schemes, based on recent experience in Colombia and Costa Rica.• Concerted research on livestock’s mitigation potential could lead to implementation of the LivestockPlus concept within 5 or 6 years.

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