Swiss College of Agriculture, Zollikofen

Livestock density and nutrient balances in Asia

In response to the strong increase of the demand for animal protein, a rapid growth of intensive livestock production is under way in Asia. The often landless industrially organised production causes serious impacts to the environment. An international initiative prepares decision support tools and studies sustainable strategies to attack the problem. In this framework, the livestock density and agricultural nutrient balances were studied in South, East and Southeast Asia. This was done on the basis of available statistical information which was analysed with the help of model calculations and Geographical Information Systems (GIS). A serious nutrient balance surplus was found in Japan, South Korea, across large parts of Eastern China, in Northeast India and generally around large urban centres. In spite of the in some regions considerable amounts of nutrients in livestock excreta, high mineral fertiliser use and not livestock production is the major cause of the nutrient balance surplus. Nevertheless, actions are most urgent in livestock production, because livestock excreta are still often not recycled and therefore cause considerable water pollution

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