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Feed Supplements reduces methane emission by livestock

  • Integrity Education, Delhi
  • 05, Jul 2021
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  • An Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) institute has developed an anti-methanogenic feed supplement ‘Harit Dhara’.
  • When given to bovines and sheep, it not only cuts down their methane emissions by 17-20%, but also results in higher milk production and body weight gain.
  • Methane is produced by animals having rumen, the first of their four stomachs where the plant material they eat gets fermented or broken down by microorganisms.
  • Carbohydrate fermentation leads to production of CO2 and hydrogen. These are used as substrate by archaea – microbes in the rumen with structure similar to bacteria – to produce methane.
  • Harit Dhara acts by decreasing the population of protozoa microbes in the rumen, responsible for hydrogen production 
  • Tropical plants containing tannins are known to suppress or remove protozoa from the rumen.

Why do we need methane reduction ?

  • Methane’s global warming potential is 25 times of carbon dioxide (CO2) over 100 years.
  • Indian Livestock produces more Methane as compared to livestock of Industrialised Nations.
  • Reason: Indian livestock feeds more on Agricultural residues- Wheat/Paddy/Bajra/Jwar.