GR Journals: This study examines perceive climate change impacts and adaptation strategies to sustain livestock production adopted by livestock. Majority of the respondents perceived that climate change has negative impact on productive and reproductive performance of livestock, increased incidence of livestock diseases and parasitic infestation, decreasing trend of feed and fodder resources, water. Majority of the respondents perceived an increased environmental temperature, decreased precipitation, increased frequency of extreme weather conditions and summer season length. Most of the farmers preserved fodder crop in farm of hay for adverse climatic condition, followed mixed livestock farming, diversifying farming practices and changed planting date, provided bedding and warmth to their animals to protect them from extreme cold, similarly during hot days farmers provided cold water and shed to protect their animals as adaptation strategies for sustain livestock production.
Livestock sector both contributes to and is affected by climate change. Climate change affects livestock both directly and indirectly. Houghton et al. (2001) concluded that direct effects from air temperature, humidity, wind speed and other climate factors influence animal performance: growth, milk production, wool production and reproduction. The impact of climate change on animal production has been categorized by Rotter and Van de Geijn (1999) as: a) availability of feed grain, b) pasture and forage crop production and quality, c) health, growth and reproduction and, d) disease and their spread. Animal health may be affected by climate change in four ways: heat-related diseases and stress, extreme weather events, adaptation of animal production systems to new environments, and emergence or re-emergence of infectious diseases, especially vector borne diseases which are critically dependent on environmental and climatic conditions. The livestock production is an integral part of mixed farming systems practiced in the entire length and breadth of India.
Furthermore while vulnerability to climate change has hardly been documented in the context of India; experimental studies have been conducted on effects of season and climate on production, performance and other physiological parameters of dairy animals. These studies have revealed that milk yield of crossbred cows in India (e.g., Karan Fries, Karan Swiss and other Holstein and Jersey crosses) are negatively correlated with temperature-humidity index (Mandal et al. 2002a). The influence of climatic conditions on milk production has been also observed for local cows which are more adapted to the tropical climate of India. The estimated annual loss at present due to heat stress among cattle and buffaloes at the all-India level is 1.8 million tonnes, that is nearly two per cent of the total milk production in the country, amounting to a whopping over Rs 2,661 crore (Upadhaya, 2010).
According to Tailor and Nagda (2005) heat stress has detrimental effects on the reproduction of buffaloes, although buffaloes are well adapted morphologically and anatomically to hot and humid climate. Upadhya et.al, (2007) stated that thermal stress on Indian livestock particularly cattle and buffaloes has been reported to decrease oestrus expression and conception rate. Maurya (2010) concluded that the length of service period and dry period of all dairy animals was increased from normal during drought. The outbreak of the disease was observed to be correlated with the mass movement of animals which in turn is dependent on the climatic factors (Sharma et al. 1991). Singh et al. (1996) reported that higher incidence of clinical mastitis in dairy animals during hot and humid weather due to increased heat stress and greater fly population associated with hot–humid conditions. In addition, the hot–humid weather conditions were found to aggravate the infestation of cattle ticks like: Boophilus microplus, Haemaphysalis bispinosa and Hyalomma anatolicum (Basu and Bandhyopadhyay, 2004; Kumar et al., 2004). Keeping view in mid a study on climate change impacts on livestock as perceived by farmers and adaptation strategies to sustain livestock production different agro climatic zones of India was conducted.
Material and Methods
The present study was conducted in two agro climatic region i.e. Western Himalayan region and Middle Gangetic plain region of India. Stratified randomly sampling technique was used for selection of blocks, villages and respondents. From each district three blocks and six villages were selected. In this way 6 blocks and 12 villages from both the district were taken into consideration, from each selected village ten livestock owners having at least two large animals were selected randomly to make 120 total respondents for the investigation. Semi structured interview schedule were used for the purpose of data collection. Besides primary data, some necessary secondary data were also collected from department of Meteorology.Frequency distribution, percentage, mean score and Cattle equivalent score etc. were computed by using Statistical Package for Social sciences (SPSS) software and Microsoft excel…..
There is a serious threat of climatic changes (in the form of severe droughts, floods, intense rainfall, and landslides) undermining development programmes and millennium development goals aimed at reducing poverty. Climate induced disasters directly affect the livelihood of the farmers. Since livelihood of the farmers is based on agriculture and animal husbandry, all of the respondents said that decrease in the animal- agricultural production weakened the economic condition. Currently India is spending 2.5% of its total GDP on measures to control the adverse impact of climatic change, which is a big amount for any developing nation. As livestock is and will play very important role in rural economy, it is necessary to find suitable solution to reduce the ill effect of climate change on livestock production.
Journal of Veterinary Advance Singh S. K., Meena H. R., Kolekar D. V. and Singh Y. P. J Vet Adv 2012, 2(7): 407-412 Online version is available on: www.grjournals.com
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