|Global livestock density, in livestock units/sq km. Source: GLiPHA (Global Livestock Production and Health Atlas).|
The University of Georgia (UGA) and Mexico’s livestock industry have formed a new research partnership to share expertise in generating fuels from livestock waste materials. Funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the partnership will initiate training, internships and exchanges between UGA and a wide array of academics and professionals in Mexico.
Joint training programs and workshops in the partnership will be organized by UGA-Mexican partner universities for students, faculty, government officials and regulatory board officials, as well as livestock industry personnel. Participants will focus on animal waste—using it to grow algae for the production of biodiesel, or anaerobically digesting it to produce methane, for example—and the fuels that can be generated from waste materials.
Livestock production worldwide is growing rapidly, as people are consuming more meat and dairy products each year. Global meat production is projected to more than double from 229 million tonnes in 1999/2001 to 465 million tonnes in 2050, while milk output is set to climb from 580 to 1043 million tonnes.
According to a report published in 2006 by bhe United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the global livestock sector generates more greenhouse gas emissions as measured in CO2 equivalent—18 percent—than transport. It is also a major source of land and water degradation.
The UGA program is designed to provide Mexico’s agricultural professionals the skills needed to analyze and support sustainable management of resources at the interface of agriculture and the environment.
The program will target technology and business policy relating to integrated waste management that is cost-effective and will provide additional income through co-product generation from waste treatment. In addition, the program will develop and analyze public policy, with a goal of regulatory regimes that improve productivity and competitiveness in the livestock sector.
The project is supported by a Higher Education for Development grant awarded under the USAID Training, Internship, Exchanges and Scholarship (TIES) program.