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Title: Sustainability of small ruminant organic systems of production
Authors: Nardone, Alessandro
Zervas, George
Ronchi, Bruno
Keywords: Organic farming;Sustainability;Small ruminants
Issue Date: 2004
Publisher: Elsevier
Source: Nardone, A., Zervas, G., Ronchi, B. 2004. Sustainability of small ruminant organic systems of production. "Livestock Production Science" 90: 27–39
There is an increasing interest for sustainable forms of livestock production systems, which will provide a balanced
relationship between environmental, socio-cultural and economic factors. The small ruminant sector is examined with particular
focus on the possibilities of improving the sustainability of small ruminant systems and on the possible role of organic
production to meet the demand of sustainability. Current regulations highlighting different approaches and interpretation of
organic farming among countries are reviewed. Regulations concerning organic livestock production between the US and the
EU are compared. For the future development of organic farming, a strong harmonisation of rules and legislation at international
and national level is needed.
The process of conversion from conventional to organic poses several problems mainly due to inadequate technical
knowledge and value-added activities at farm or regional level with poorly organized marketing. Breeding strategies, feed
management and disease control for small ruminant in organic farming are discussed. Animal selection should be designed to
reinforce, in a sustainable manner, the relationships between animals and the environment. Feed management will require a
better integration between agriculture and livestock, and a transition from monoculture to mosaic, with spatial and temporal
integration of agricultural components. Possible alternatives to chemoprophylaxis are available to control helminth diseases,
such as the use of homeopathic treatment, and the improvement of genetic resistance to parasite infections.
Harmonisation of rules and development of technical assistance at local level may contribute to increase sustainability of
small ruminant organic farming not only in developed but also in developing countries. Certification and valorisation of organic
products are key points to guarantee and promote this sector.
L'articolo è disponibile sul sito dell'editore
ISSN: 0301-6226
Appears in Collections:DiPA - Archivio della produzione scientifica

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