Science communication for non-scientific audiences in food security (agriculture, animal science, veterinary science, food policy, food safety and related field), environment (climate change, sustainability, natural resource management and related field), sustainable development and system thinking.
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Role of Ruminant Animals in Global Climate Change
are great contributors to the human food chain due to their ability to utilize complex polysaccharides in plant
cell walls (cellulose, hemicelluloses and pectin), which are otherwise non
digestible to any of the mammalian digestive enzyme and turn these into meat and
milk for human consumption. Digestion of these polysaccharides in ruminant
diets is attributable to anaerobic biodegradation of these compounds into their
respective monomers by microorganisms (bacteria and fungi) present in the
forestomach of the animals. In spite of their contribution to the human food
chain, ruminant animals are often debated as one of the contributing factors in
global climate change due to the emission of CH4 as a byproduct of
fermentative digestion of feedstuffs in the forestomach. In addition,
production of methane by ruminants causes a significant amount of feed energy
loss which could be used for animal growth and
production if methane production is prevented.
Domestic ruminant animals are one of the important
anthropogenic sources of methane which contribute approximately 23% (81 Tg of
CH4) of the total anthropogenic annual methane production, and this
is the second largest (fossil fuel is the first) source of anthropogenic
methane production. Approximately two thirds of total methane production by
domestic ruminants is contributed by cattle and the rest is shared by other
domestic ruminants like buffalo, sheep, goats etc. Several
factors influence the enteric methane emissions from ruminants. Daily dry
matter intake, digestibility of the feed, amount of fibres and soluble
carbohydrate in diet, type of volatile fatty acids (VFAs) produced during
fermentation (acetate: propionate ratio) etc, effect the amount of enteric
methane production. Similarly, animal species, breed and composition of the
microbial population in the rumen and rumen pH also affect methane production.
Thus, reduction in
methane emission from ruminants has twofold benefits. Firstly, it will help to
reduce the global warming due to greenhouse gases and secondly, it reduces feed
energy loss. Reduction in methane emission will result in higher growth and
productivity of ruminant and improve the efficiency of feed utilization with
the same amount of energy supplied. Reduction in GHG emissions from ruminant
animals could be done earlier than from other sectors and requires less effort
and financial investment thus making the strategy more feasible.
by Yadav Sharma Bajagai "Food Security" is one of major elements of development and poverty alleviation and has been the goal of many international and national public organizations. The issue is so important that according to the state of food insecurity in the world 2012 published by FAO around 870 million people (out of which 852 million from developing countries) are estimated to have been undernourished in the period 2010-12. Although the phrase "Food Security" is being used widely, the definition and concept of food security is elusive and being evolved and expanded over time.
Background Household food deficiency due to low agricultural productivity, limited livelihood opportunities, inefficient food distribution system, weak market linkage, poor infrastructure and lack of awareness among general public about healthy food habit are some of the development challenges in Nepal. Within the country western Nepal suffer more from poverty and hunger with 37% of the people living below the poverty line compared to the national average of 25.16%. Similarly, productivity of major crops is significantly lower than the national average which is already among the lowest in South Asia. Per capita consumption of animal products (32 litres of milk, 7.5 kg of meat and 6.4 eggs per capita per annum) is among the lowest in the region hunger indices pointing to an extremely alarming situation. Household food balance (result of food inflow, household production, household consumption and outflow) is negative almost throughout the year in the region. Government of
by Yadav Sharma Bajagai 1 Introduction Being member of different international organizations, Nepal has many food safety related obligations to comply with rules and regulations of those organizations. Food safety related issues started to become matter of increased concern and one of the priority areas of the government after the country has become member of the world trade organization (WTO) in 2004. Being a developing country, food chains are generally long in developing countries like Nepal as compared to those in developed countries due to poor infrastructure which makes the food more vulnerable to be contaminated with harmful agents (microorganism and chemicals). In addition, infrastructures related to technical regulation, conformity assessment and safety of food are still in developing phase which requires more focus and investment for better functioning. Similarly, Inspections and regulation of food related business are challenging and difficult due