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Rearing Climate Resilient Livestock for Better Productivity- A Review

Vivek Kumar Nayak Prajwalita Pathak Sudip Adhikary
Vol 8(3), 6-23

The standard of living has improved and with it the demand for livestock products have also increased dramatically and it is expected to reach new heights by mid 21st century. However with changing climatic condition there is a greater risk of decreased productivity as it affects production through competition for natural resources, quantity and quality of feeds, livestock diseases, heat stress and biodiversity loss. This study reviews the impacts of climate change on livestock production and the methods of rearing them for climate resilience. Different species and breeds differ greatly in the extent to which they can tolerate climatic extremes. Indian livestock are well adapted to harsh climate by morphological and physiological adaptations and proper breeding and rearing will allow for more opportunities to match breeds for resilience to a changing climate. Two-third of India’s population directly or indirectly depends on livestock for their livelihood and critical protein-energy requirements. So it’s more important to prepare our livestock for enduring the forthcoming climatic adversities through conservation, selective breeding and better managerial practices. The use of multi-species and multi-breed herds is one strategy that many traditional livestock farmers use to maintain high diversity in on-farm niches and to buffer against climatic and economic adversities. The best method of reducing the impact of stressful climatic condition and preparing a climate resilient herd is by improving productivity and animal welfare through selection and breeding of those animals that are productive in the presence of that stressful condition. As livestock play a very important role in shaping our economy and livelihood of people, emphasis should be given for rearing climate resilient breeds for sustainable production in fluctuating climate.

Keywords : Biodiversity Climate change Resilience

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