Low-emission development for Bangladesh’s dairy sector

The dairy cattle sector in Bangladesh is responsible for about 45.9 megatonnes of CO2-eq. Most of this - 79% - is methane. 

Bangladesh is working with the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC), the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases (GRA) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to identify low-cost strategies to reduce enteric methane from dairy cattle.

CCAC supported research has found that improved animal feed, both in availability and quality, and better herd management and livestock health are key to reducing methane production, or the emission intensity of the animal products. Combining these with other interventions could result in methane reductions of 17%, while increasing milk production by 27% in subsistence systems and by 24% in commercial systems.


Our Agriculture Initiative is working to transform ruminant livestock production systems to improve productivity and reduce emissions of enteric methane per unit of animal product. This project seeks to provide guidance to policy makers, and recommend incentives and institutional frameworks to encourage the adoption of productivity-enhancing technologies and practices.

Why we're doing this work

At the national level, emission intensity (the greenhouse emissions per kg of Fat Protein Corrected Milk (FPCM) produced) is higher in subsistence dairy systems (12 kg CO2-eq / kg FPCM) than in commercial systems (4.8 kg CO2-eq / kg FPCM).

Key drivers of the low productivity and corresponding high emission intensity in Bangladesh’s dairy cattle sector are poor animal nutrition, animal health, genetics, and environmental constraints such as heat stress. The strong correlation between greenhouse gas emissions and milk productivity points to an opportunity for meeting food and nutrition security needs and reducing methane emissions.

The Bangladesh Government has developed several high-level policy initiatives – including Vision 2021 and the related Perspective Plan – setting out economic development objectives. The Vision outlines strategic objectives like universal food security, which means the country needs to be self-sufficient in food production and equitably distribute nutritious food. Achieving food security is also a key objective of the country’s poverty reduction strategy and is the highest risk factor in Bangladesh’s Climate Change Action Plan.

Climate change is expected to severely challenge the country’s ability to achieve its desired rates of economic growth and its food security goals. Bangladesh is a recognized leader in planning for adaptation and has developed a Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan. The country wants to implement mitigation activities that contribute its development goals and include adaptation and sustainable development co-benefits.

What we're doing

Since 2016, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in collaboration with the New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre (NZAGRC), has helped Bangladesh:

Pollutants (SLCPs)