Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Reducing the carbon footprint of Senegalese cattle systems through improved productivity
Author: Salmon, Gareth Richard
ISNI:       0000 0004 7225 0068
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2017
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Please try the link below.
Access from Institution:
Meat and milk from sub Saharan African cattle systems tend to have high greenhouse gas emissions intensities; this is largely due to low levels of productivity. There is a need to increase production to meet an increasing demand for livestock commodities; driven by growing populations, and growing diet variation, as incomes and urbanisation increase. Without measures to reduce the emissions intensity of production, there will be significant increases in total greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, cost-effective ways of reducing emissions intensity, whilst increasing productivity should be identified. This thesis looks to support this by providing an assessment of low-input to semi-intensified cattle production systems in Senegal, West Africa; where cattle populations are growing and efforts are being made to increase domestic milk production. The emissions intensity of protein from current production systems is calculated using a version of the Food and Agriculture Organization’s Global Livestock Environmental Assessment Model (GLEAM). Variation in emissions intensity is observed between current systems, which can be largely linked to feed ration quality and levels of protein productivity. Productivity improving interventions suitable for the study systems are identified, and their application to current systems modelled by altering input parameters within GLEAM. It is suggested that production systems could reduce emissions intensities by applying nutritional and health related intervention packages; through which the varying production systems could abate between 10% and 20% of their total greenhouse gas emissions whilst also making financial savings. A comparison between the current systems of production also suggests that changing the lower productivity systems to match higher producing systems would also offer substantial cost-saving emissions abatement. The thesis considers the key limitation to the use of GLEAM for modelling the application of nutritional mitigation measures, in that when nutritional improvements are made animal performance does not currently increase. Predicting how animals will respond to improved nutrition is challenging. However, a methodology is discussed, and is shown to have an important effect on the emissions abatement results. Subsequently, the thesis advocates further research to experimentally substantiate animal performance responses when nutritionally limited cattle are given improved feed regimes. Despite the study livestock keepers showing aspiration to improve the productivity of their herds, with subsequent potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the thesis recognises that the abatement potentials suggested by modelling would be restricted by the reality of production system context and constraints. Key barriers to a realisation of the productivity improvements include: a lack of financial means, limitations to resource access and affordability, and requirement for information and training concerning productivity improving options. For realisation of productivity improvements the current barriers would require further investigation, the thesis helps identify what form interventions should take.
Supervisor: Macleod, Michael ; Wilson, Ron ; Dexter, Kyle ; Karen, Marshall ; Robinson, Timothy Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: greenhouse gases ; productivity ; cattle ; Senegal ; emissions ; cost-effective