The Central America team of the CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish started out this year with the launch of the project ‘Competitive beef and dairy through sustainable intensification and specialized market access in Nicaragua‘, with the objective of improving the competitiveness and income of small and medium cattle farmers in Nicaragua through the implementation of good farm management practices and the creation and strengthening of sustainable beef and dairy value chains.
To begin the project’s implementation, a press conference was organized to introduce the project to local media and partners, as well as a project launch event in the municipality of Matiguás, the selected project implementation site located in the department of Matagalpa. Meetings and events were conducted with partners to synergize interventions and optimize joint resource use.
Local technicians were recruited to aid in the various steps involved in this process, undergoing a training period on various themes, emphasizing gender, with the objective of developing an inclusive approach to women and youth, while understanding the main gender-based constraints and roles present in farm families.
Through a joint effort between collaborating partners, a questionnaire was developed based on information provided by local implementation partner Nicacentro, a dairy farmer cooperative based in Matiguás. The themes covered in the questionnaire include carbon monitoring elements such as land use, silvopastoral interventions, and forest use. Additionally, an initial analysis of greenhouse gas emissions related to feed rations, and milk and meat value chains were included, and the questionnaire was adapted to include gender-disaggregated data.
Data collection was completed by the second week of July 2014, providing results based on which 60 farms will be identified for carbon and greenhouse gas-related monitoring. As part of the project’s research component, a methodology has been developed for monitoring and quantifying carbon accumulation for different land uses and greenhouse gas emissions, emphasizing methane and nitrous oxide.
Promoting the project’s capacity building component, the requirements for farmer capacity development have been analyzed, and farmers are being selected to participate in the 20 farmer field schools which are being established on norms for sustainable livestock production.
Through the strategic combination of research, capacity-building, and market incentive components, the project aims for the sustainable intensification and climate change adaptation of smallholder farms, while introducing a business opportunity in specialized markets through a certification process with internationally recognized standards, ultimately leading to the expected project impacts of poverty reduction, environmental sustainability, and capacity building within the target group.