Competition for land and water:
The demand by livestock for feed and land does not necessarily compete with the food needs of people.
To avoid competing with food crops, forages can be grown beside hedges or as strip crops that help prevent soil erosion. Manure from animals fed on crop residues can be used to fertilize soil and enhance crop productivity. Policies that aim to enhance agricultural productivity should incorporate both livestock and crops and promoted integrated solutions that maximise the use of human inedible feed resources.
Land access and management:
Sustained livestock mobility that is critical to ensure sustainable livestock keeping in extensive systems requires appropriate land use mapping and planning policies. Livestock movement corridors should be protected and assured in land use plans and supported with infrastructure.
Increasing rangeland productivity by providing the right community decision-making incentives and mechanisms is critical for sustainable land management.
Optimal approaches to restore degraded lands include enhancing livestock productivity, promoting community range management and enhancing insurance schemes to relieve livestock keepers of the need to keep many livestock for insurance purposes.
In mixed crop-livestock systems, forage production can contribute to sustainable land and water management, by for example, preventing erosion and enhancing soil fertility through nitrogen fixation. Policies and investments should support these innovations.
Herrero, M., S. Wirsenius, B. Henderson, C. RIgolot, P. Thornton, P. Havlik, I de Boer and P. Gerber. 2015. Livestock and the environment: what have we learned in the past decade? Annual Review of Environmental Resources 40: 177-202. https://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev-environ-031113-093503
Mottet, A., Haan, C. de., Falcucci, A., Tempio, G., Opio, C. and Gerber, P. 2017. Livestock: On our plates or eating at our table? A new analysis of the feed/food debate. Global Food Security 14: 1-8. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gfs.2017.01.001