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The impact of climate change on poor dairy producers in Odisha, India

York, L. (2017) The impact of climate change on poor dairy producers in Odisha, India. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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Abstract/Summary

The Indian dairy sector represents 16.7% (44.5 million milking cows) of the world's dairy cattle. Dairying is susceptible to climate change as high temperatures cause heat stress amongst cows. The sector size ensures it is a significant contributor to Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and inevitable target for mitigation. Yet, gaps in the knowledge remain regarding contextually relevant adaptation and/or mitigation strategies. The study investigated the impact of climate change on poor smallholder dairy producers and evaluated the role of climate-compatible policy and practice in supporting adaptation and mitigation at a household level. Data was collected from 115 smallholder dairy producers in Puri (n=31) and Khurda (n=84) districts of Odisha, India. Odisha was selected due to the high levels of rural poverty (35.7% of households). The poor are particularly susceptibility to the effects of climate change. Deterministic modelling, systematic policy review, GHG emission inventory, emission mitigation policy comparison and cost-benefit-analysis were employed. Temperature increases (+2C and +4 QC) were found to irrevocably reduce milk yields across all breeds (Jersey crossbred and non-descript indigenous) considered. Adaptation ameliorated losses for little economic gain due to implementation cost. Predicted increases in feed price resulted in lower grade Jersey crossbreeds being the most profitable. Anaerobic digester installation and control of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) were expected to reduce emissions. Calculations indicated digester leakage increased emission intensity by 5.5% whilst FMD control reduced emission intensity by 3.6 -13.1%. However, a reduced sector size is required to reduce total emissions. A reduced sector size will be unpalatable to Indian policymakers due to the socio-cultural importance of cattle. The study concludes that adaptation and mitigation is highly complex due to a range of trade-offs. A restructuring of national policy to consider the trade-offs within a climate change framework is required to prevent climate change impacts from becoming increasingly significant and detrimental.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Rymer, C. and Heffernan, C.
Thesis/Report Department:School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
ID Code:75268
Date on Title Page:2016

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