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A comparison of policies to reduce the methane emission intensity of smallholder dairy production in India

York, L; Heffernan, C; Rymer, C


L York

C Heffernan

C Rymer


Within the dairy sector, the effects of climate change are particularly diverse as cows are affected by, and a significant contributor to climate change. With a burgeoning body of work indicating the importance of livestock’s contribution to climate change (via Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions), the dairy sector will increasingly be targeted for emission reduction. Yet, gaps in knowledge remain as to the effectiveness of interventions in achieving emission reductions. The investigation examines two high-profile Indian policies to evaluate their effectiveness in reducing the methane emission intensity of milk production in Odisha, India. Selected policies included the installation of smallscale anaerobic digesters and the control of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD). The interventions were evaluated at the cow level informed by data collected from 115 smallholder dairy producers in Puri (n = 31) and Khurda (n = 84) districts in Odisha, India. The installation of an anaerobic digester was found to increase methane emission intensity by 4.41–5.01%. Control of FMD reduced methane emission intensity by 3.68–12.95% depending on the infection scenario considered. The findings highlight the importance of contextually relevant and multi-sectoral approaches to mitigation as the increase in methane emission intensity following anaerobic digester installation represents movement of emissions from the energy sector into the dairy sector where mitigation is inherently more complex. Thus, the long-term usefulness of anaerobic digester installation as a mitigation strategy is limited.


York, L., Heffernan, C., & Rymer, C. (2017). A comparison of policies to reduce the methane emission intensity of smallholder dairy production in India.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 28, 2017
Publication Date Jun 2, 2017
Deposit Date Feb 13, 2019
Publicly Available Date Aug 16, 2019
Journal Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 246
Pages 78-85
Public URL


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