DFG Research Unit FOR2432 - India

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Social-Ecological Systems in the Indian Rural-Urban Interface: Functions, Scales, and Dynamics of Transition

Duration: Phase I 04/2016-03/2019, Phase II 04/2019-03/2022

Funding:German Research Foundation (DFG)

>>> Project website

Cluster A: Intensification and efficiency of resource use in production systems

Project A03: Dairy production in an urbanizing environment

Research focus: Food consumption patterns of the Hindu-dominated Indian society strongly rely on milk and milk products as protein sources in vegetarian diets. While urbanization intensifies the market demand for milk and milk products, but the urban demand for dairy products should be met in an ecologically and economically sustainable way. Management strategies to achieve this vary between different localities across the rural-urban interface. The livestock project A03 therefore investigates dairy farmers feeding and milk marketing strategies and their adaptation to urbanization and shocks such as COVID-19.

PhD students:Marion Reichenbach, MD Shahin Alam


Alam, M.S., Schlecht, E., Reichenbach, M. 2022. impacts of COVID-19 on small-scale dairy enterprises in an Indian megacity - Insights from Greater Bengaluru. Sustainability 14(4), 2057. DOI 10.3390/su14042057.

Buerkert A., Dix B.A., Al Rahawi M.N., Schlecht E. 2021. agro-ecological landuse transformation in oasis systems of Al Jabal Al Akhdar, northern Oman. Scientific Reports 11, 7709. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-85515-9

Pinto A., May K., Yin T., Reichenbach M., Malik P.K., Roessler  R., Schlecht E., König S. 2021. Gastrointestinal nematode and Eimeria spp. infections in dairy cattle along a rural-urban gradient. Veterinary Parasitology: Regional Studies and Reports 25, 100600. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vprsr.2021.100600

Pinto A., Yin T., Reichenbach M., Bhatta R., Malik P.K., Schlecht E., König S. 2020. enteric methane emissions of dairy cattle considering breed composition, pasture management, housing conditions and feeding characteristics along a rural-urban gradient in a rising megacity. Agriculture 10(12), 628. https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10120628.

Pinto A., Yin T., Reichenbach M., Bhatta R., Schlecht E., König S. 2020. phenotypic dairy cattle trait expressions in dependency of social-ecological characteristics along rural-urban gradients. Sustainability 12(21), 9021. https://doi.org/10.3390/su1221902

Prasad, C.S., S. Anandan, N.K.S. Gowda, E. Schlecht, A. Buerkert. 2019. managing nutrient flows in Indian urban and peri-urban livestock systems. Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems 115, 159-172. doi. org/10.1007/s10705-018-9964-0

Reichenbach M., Pinto A., König S., Bhatta R., Schlecht E. 2021. dairy production in an urbanizing environment-Typology and linkages in the megacity of Bengaluru, India. a. PLoS ONE 16(8), e0255791. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal

Velayudhan S.M., Brügemann K., Shahin A., Yin T., Devaraj C., Sejian V., Bhatta R., Schlecht E., König S. 2023. molecular, physiological and hematological responses of crossbred dairy cattle in a tropical savanna climate. Biology 12, 26. DOI 10.3390/biology12010026.

Velayudhan S.M., Brügemann K., Pinto A., Yin T., Reichenbach M., Sejian V., Bhatta R., Schlecht E., König S. 2022. effects of heat stress across the rural-urban interface on phenotypic trait expressions of dairy cattle in a tropical savanna region. Sustainability 14(8), 4590. DOI 10.3390/su14084590.

Partner institutions

National Institute of Animal Nutrition and Physiology, Bangalore, India