Onderwerp scriptie

Land use efficiency assessment of pig production in the Netherlands - Weiya Wang

It is increasingly important to assess the production efficiency (kg product output/kg resource input) and search for new opportunities to enhance the production of more food on limited land. Based on life cycle assessment (LCA), Klootwijk (2014) proposed a novel approach to assess land occupation efficiency (LUE). In this thesis, we illustrated the novel approach for the case of the Dutch pork production systems.

The global demand for food, and especially animal derived protein, has increased over the last decades with an increasing global population and wealth. Therefore, it is increasingly important to assess the production efficiency (kg product output/kg resource input) and search for new opportunities to enhance the production of more food on limited land. Based on life cycle assessment (LCA), Klootwijk (2014) proposed a novel approach to assess land occupation efficiency (LUE). This new approach first uses a regular LCA to assess land occupation from feed production required to produce a kg of animal protein. Secondly, it calculates the human digestible (HD) protein production on this occupied land for both animal product and food crops. Finally, it defines LUE as the ratio of the HD protein per kilogram of animal product over the suitability to directly produce HD protein from food crops. In this novel approach, therefore, it is considered that LUE is determined by both the suitability of used land to produce HD protein and the efficiency of livestock species to convert non-HD protein in feed into animal-source protein.

In this thesis, we illustrated the novel approach for the case of the Dutch pork production systems. Land occupation for pork production was about 35 m2.yr per kg HD pork protein. On this land, about three times as much HD protein can be produced from food crops than from livestock production, resulting in a land occupation efficiency ratio of about 0.36. Compared with the results from Klootwijk (2014), the Dutch pork production system had lower LUE than egg (0.48) and milk systems (1.67 on peat soils and 0.44 on sand soils). This result showed that the Dutch pork production system has higher land occupation impact, and is less efficient than the egg and milk production system. In addition, this novel approach result also helps farmers or government to identify livestock systems that could contribute to efficient use of land.

Student: W Wang

Supervisor: dr ir E Mollenhorst

24 Ects