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  • Writer's pictureDr Aimable UWIZEYE

Climate crisis puts more and more pressure on animal husbandry in developing countries

By Erwin Northoff

This article was originally published here

Photo by Wix

Droughts and floods are causing problems for livestock farmers as well as harmful greenhouse gases. A variety of solutions are needed to make the sector more sustainable, low-emission and more resistant.

If the emission of greenhouse gases continues unchecked, a third less usable space will be available for animal husbandry in 60 to 80 years, warns a study from Finland. At the same time, livestock farming contributes significantly to global warming: A large part of methane, nitrous oxide and carbon emissions are caused by livestock farming and its supply chains; forests must make room for pastures and the cultivation of animal feed. But it is also estimated that about half a billion people depend on keeping animals in their existence. An interview with the expert of the World Food Organization FAO, Aimable Uwizeye.

World nutrition: What consequences does climate change have for animal husbandry in developing countries? Aimable Uwizeye: Climate change affects entire ecosystems and the livelihoods of millions of communities, especially in rural areas. Extreme events such as droughts and floods are becoming more frequent, with serious consequences also for livestock farming. In Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, for example, it has hardly rained in the last three years. Due to the drought disaster, cattle are finding less and less feed, many animals have died or have had to be slaughtered. What is the situation in other areas? The situation is critical not only in the Horn of Africa. In the Sahel, changed rainfall and long dry seasons force herders to move to other pastures in search of grass and water. Increasing heat waves are affecting the animals, many are dieing. In Mongolia, at the other end of the spectrum, extreme winters and icy temperatures also lead to a high animal mortality due to lack of pasture and water. Whether drought or freezing cold, it is becoming increasingly difficult for many farmers to grow enough feed, the prices of food are rising. Small farmers in particular can afford less and less feed.