Nutrient provision capacity of alternative livestock farming systems per area of arable farmland required

Lee, M.R.F., Domingues, J.P., McAuliffe, G.A., Tichit, M., Accatino, F. and Takahashi, T. (2021) Nutrient provision capacity of alternative livestock farming systems per area of arable farmland required. Scientific Reports, 11.

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Abstract

Although climate impacts of ruminant agriculture are a major concern worldwide, using policy instruments to force grazing farms out of the livestock industry may diminish opportunities to produce nutritious food without exacerbating the food-feed competition for fertile and accessible land resources. Here, we present a new set of quantitative evidence to demonstrate that, per unit of overall nutrient value supplied by a given commodity, the demand for land suitable for human-edible crop production is considerably smaller under ruminant systems than monogastric systems, and consistently so at both farm and regional scales. We also demonstrate that imposition of a naïvely designed “red meat tax” has the potential to invite socioeconomic losses far greater than its environmental benefits, due largely to the induced misallocation of resources at the national scale. Our results reiterate the risk inherent in an excessively climate-focused debate on the role of livestock in human society and call for more multidimensional approaches of sustainability assessment to draw better-balanced policy packages.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Climate-change mitigation, Environmental impact, Nutrition
Divisions: Agriculture and Environment (from 1.08.20)
Depositing User: Mrs Rachael Harper
Date Deposited: 03 Aug 2021 14:24
Last Modified: 03 Aug 2021 14:24
URI: https://hau.repository.guildhe.ac.uk/id/eprint/17727

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