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Agricultural Economics Research Review
Year : 2013, Volume : 26, Issue : 1
First page : ( 21) Last page : ( 30)
Print ISSN : 0971-3441. Online ISSN : 0974-0279.

Positive Environmental Externalities of Livestock in Mixed Farming Systems of India

Dikshit A.K.a,*, Birthal P.S.b

aCentral Institute for Research on Goats, Makhdoom - 281 122, Uttar Pradesh

bNational Centre for Agricultural Economics and Policy Research, New Delhi - 110 012

*Author for correspondence, Email: akdixit@cirg.res.in

JEL Classification: Q51, Q20, Q0

Abstract

Livestock are often criticized for their negative externalities to environment. However, in the mixed farming systems followed in India, the livestock help in saving natural resources through their synergistic relationship with cropping activities. This paper has quantified the positive environmental externalities associated with livestock production in India's mixed farming systems. These include: land saving due to recycling of agricultural by-products as animal feed and also due to use of dung- cake as domestic fuel; saving of chemical fertilizers due to use of dung as manure and prevention of carbon dioxide emission due to use of animal energy in agriculture. Land saving from livestock production system due to recycling of crop by-products as animal feed and use of dung as domestic fuel has been estimated as 42 Mha. The use of dung as manure saves 1.2 Mt of soil nutrients. Likewise, use of animal energy as a substitute for mechanical energy has potential to save diesel consumption to the extent of 13 Mt and prevents greenhouse gas emission due to burning of diesel.

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Keywords

Livestock, environment, mixed farming system, India.

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