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Sustainable productivity of livestock in European and Asian alpine grassland: a case study roadmap

Leiber, F.; Mukaliev, A. and Vitra, A. (2021) Sustainable productivity of livestock in European and Asian alpine grassland: a case study roadmap. In: Book of Abstracts of the 72nd Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Sciences. Davos, Switzerland. 30 August - 3 September 2021, Wageningen Academic Publishers, The Netherlands, no. 27, p. 288.

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Global grassland areas are often referred to as important resources for agricultural production of animal sourced food avoiding land-use pressure on arable soils. However, real utilisation of grassland is often not at optimum, for varying reasons of economic, social and political implications. This concerns also mountain grassland areas, which are in many cases poorly utilised. In the European mountains, too high labour costs at too small revenues are a frequent reason for slackening of mountain pasture utilisation and ultimately abandonment of the land. In Central Asian regions the opposite is frequently the case: due to poverty and social structures, stocking density on mountainous pastures is too high, however at insufficient herd management. Both tendencies lead to grassland degradation. Consequences are ecological damage as well as low productivity on the scales of animals or land. We hypothesise, that in the European as well as in the Central Asian mountainous pasturelands increase of productivity and improvement of ecological sustainability are possible as synergistic effects of improved herd, pasture and fodder management. To challenge the hypothesis and in in order to identify measures of action and the potential margins of productivity raise, case-studies are needed. Two proposed case studies in the European Alps and the Kyrgyz Tian Shan are aiming at: (1) developing applicable strategies of action based on the pilot character of research and development work; and (2) providing sound data to calculate the potential contribution of grassland-based food production to future global nutrition demands under improved management conditions. The role of climate change is a further crucial issue requiring assessment in this context. The overall target is to value the political, economic and ecological importance of mountain grasslands in a demanding future. Based on the exemplary in-depth description of the status quo in the two regions mentioned, this paper will deduce the general necessity and delineate a roadmap for community-based long-term regional research and development projects regarding herd and forage management in global grasslands.

EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Keywords:livestock systems, forage, grassland management, mountain grassland areas
Agrovoc keywords:
livestock systems
grassland management
Subjects: Animal husbandry
Animal husbandry > Feeding and growth
Research affiliation: Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Animal > Animal welfare & housing > Grassland-based livestock systems
Deposited By: Forschungsinstitut für biologischen Landbau, FiBL
ID Code:43277
Deposited On:13 Jan 2022 09:33
Last Modified:13 Jan 2022 09:33
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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