Livestock is known to be a major factor in climate change. The animal emits 70 to 120 kilograms of methane annually, and methane is a greenhouse gas that is often more powerful than carbon dioxide.
One possible solution to this problem is to reduce beef consumption. However, in fact, the demand for beef has been steadily growing for decades: it currently produces 72 million tons per year.
Brazil is one of the major producers interested in solving the problem, producing about twenty percent of world exports. One of the inventions of the Brazilian Center for Agricultural Research (Embrapa) is the Carbon Neutral Livestock Certification, which was launched in 2020.
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Grasslands of primeval forests
Cattle not only destroy the environment through methane. One-third of the world’s commercial deforestation occurs in Brazil, with much of the area used for livestock grazing. Worldwide, 2.11 million hectares of forest are cut down and used for livestock every year.
According to Brazilian researchers, the most effective way to use these areas is to plant 250-350 eucalyptus trees per hectare of pasture. Thus, not only could they produce 25 cubic meters of wood per hectare, but the grass would also be richer and nutrient-rich, making livestock grow faster, and thus spend less time emitting methane with specific conditions.
Using this regenerative farming method, livestock productivity can increase by thirty percent. Interest in such practices has grown steadily over the past decade, as well as environmental impacts that motivate producers less, such as laws restricting deforestation.