A RECENT World Bank report has suggested that livestock produces large share of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Pakistan. It is a fact that cattle dung contains gases like methane (60 per cent) and carbon dioxide (40pc). These gases are hazardous as they pollute the air, orchestrate public health anomalies, and are perilous to the livestock. If the dairy sheds are allowed to remain deprived of oxygen and sunlight, they will accumulate more GHGs, thereby harming the ecological parameters.
Mitigation of GHGs can be materialised by training farmers and workers working in livestock and dairy units. They can serve the cause by ensuring optimum ventilation, adequate sunlight, more open yards in farm sheds and lifting dung debris early in the morning, dumping at distant places, and regular cleaning and washing of the sheds with safe antiseptic solutions.
Livestock and dairy farming is an important and yielding sub-sector of agriculture. It provides essential edibles, such as milk and meat. It also provides wool, hair and hides. It is a good source to beef up the national foreign exchange reserves. Besides, it can yield manure to fertilise agrarian lands.
The production of biogas, an econo-mical alternative to natural gas, can also be materialised through it. Additionally, it also contributes to the job opportu-nities in the country, especially to the young residing in rural areas.
Keeping in mind the increase in demand of milk and meat, more rural and urban farmers are willing to switch to dairy farming, for which the efforts are already under way.
Financial institutions, such as Asian Development Bank, International Union for Conservation of Nature, Japan International Cooperation Agency, German Technical Cooperation, etc., are interested in working towards improving the living conditions of the masses through livestock and dairy development.
Their assistance may be sought to prioritise the mitigation of GHG emissions through training of farmers and workers in terms of maintaining hygienic conditions in farms and sheds.
There should be arrangements for proper disposal of dung debris, its use as a fertiliser for agricultural efficiency, utilisation of cattle dung to produce biogas and usage of the residue as a fertiliser, preserving the health and productivity of animals.
Dr Baz Muhammad Junejo
Government of Sindh
Published in Dawn, January 13th, 2023
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