The rise of micro-livestock is gaining momentum, but there are a few reasons why it is not a good idea to begin your own micro-farming business. These reasons include lack of training and knowledge, lack of veterinary products, and the high risk of disease. These factors make micro-livestock an unsuitable choice for many people.
Impact of crop residues
One advantage of crop residues is their high feed value and the ability to extend grazing seasons. Additionally, residues provide a steady, low-cost source of maintenance feed for micro-livestock. However, there are some steps that must be taken to make these residues digestible for micro-livestock.
In order to examine how crop residues affect micro-livestock, researchers analyzed soil samples from various farming systems. They found that integrated crop-livestock systems increased the total microbial biomass, PLFA, and N content in soil samples. While these improvements are smaller than those of a natural ecosystem, they do show an improvement compared to conventional corn-soybean systems.
Transaction costs are prohibitive for small-scale producers, who often do not have the bargaining power to get the best prices. They also have limited access to information on the market and have to rely on middlemen to get a deal done. Further, there are limited opportunities to form producer-associations, which makes it difficult to reduce transaction costs. This is one of the motivations behind the trend of vertical integration in developing countries.
In the UK, the micro-livestock sector is estimated at $1.1 billion annually. That number does not include the value of feed grains and food commodities. However, livestock production is a multi-billion dollar sector and its impact on food security is enormous. Besides improving food security, it helps improve people’s livelihoods.
Diversification of crops is a good way to reduce risks. Crop diversification has a positive impact on income, but it is less clear on how it affects food security and nutrition. Some studies showed a marginally positive impact on food security, while others showed a negative effect. In addition, adoption of certain agricultural technologies has a negative impact on food security.
In one study, researchers looked at the impact of income diversification on rural households using Zai-technology. They collected primary data from the Upper East region of Ghana. Then, they applied Propensity Score Matching (PSM) and Inverse-Probability-weighted Regression Adjustment (IPWA) to estimate the welfare benefits of non-farm income diversification, while controlling for covariate differences. The researchers found that non-farm income diversification increases household welfare and makes it more likely that farmers will adopt Zai-technology.
Diseases in micro-livestock have various causes, so proper diagnosis is essential. The symptoms of disease include detectable changes in body functions. They may include urinary tract infections, enlarged kidneys, or abnormal salivation. A variety of diseases may cause different symptoms, but most can be diagnosed by a veterinarian.
Micro-livestock infections are caused by bacteria, viruses, and parasites. These organisms are spread from one animal to another through direct contact, ingestion, or conjunctiva. Close contact between humans and livestock is a critical factor in transmission. Unfortunately, the type and intensity of human-livestock contact are still not fully understood. Therefore, a systematic review of the literature on the transmission of micro-livestock diseases has been undertaken.
A key reason is the potential negative impact of climate change on livestock production. It is estimated that the average global temperature increased 0.7degC in the past century, with anthropogenic greenhouse gases responsible for much of the increase. Climate change affects livestock production and development in multiple ways, and it is essential that policy solutions address these issues.
Fortunately, there are several solutions. For instance, specialized breeding can help improve the climate-resistant ability of livestock. Other solutions include increased shade and ventilation. Furthermore, mixed crop-livestock systems like agroforestry can help protect biodiversity and mitigate the impacts of climate change.
Future of micro-livestock
First, micro-livestock can be raised indoors or in the backyard, and there is no need for huge spaces. Furthermore, micro-livestock production can be distributed over a year, resulting in a steady income that can fluctuate according to market conditions. It is also possible to produce meat from multiple species at once, and the meat from each species is edible for an average household.
Secondly, micro-livestock are easier to manage than large livestock. Small animals require less space and equipment to keep and tend to be more productive than large animals. Additionally, farmers can use locally available products for their facilities and equipment. Micro-livestock can be more easily managed by women, and their small size helps them fit into existing farming systems. Micro-livestock are also better converters of food energy and can be raised on less expensive feeds.