Cows are regularly portrayed as evil: four-legged, four-stomached, greenhouse gas machines chomping through forests and destroying the planet. It’s no wonder the idea of a climate-smart livestock system sounds like an oxymoron. Nevertheless, you can get a glimpse of these systems in Colombia’s mountainous, Cauca Department. Patía is also a microcosm of Colombia’s livestock conundrum. …
Silvopastoral systems provide a broad range of environmental and productive benefits. The presence of trees in farm plots stabilizes hillsides, minimizes erosion, improves the soil’s water retention and nutrient balance, and provides feed and shade for cattle. These practices generate higher milk and meat yields while contributing to the resilience of production systems in the face of climate variability, which is manifesting in increasingly extreme ways in Central America.
As part of a research intervention aimed at alleviating the feed crunch for Uganda’s smallholder pig producers, the University of Guelph’s Department of Population Medicine, in partnership with ILRI, tested novel pig diets using locally available crop residues and feedstuffs to determine the difference (if any) in the average daily gain in weight of pigs fed on a silage-based ration, or a ration using local feedstuffs and if these differ from ADG of pigs fed commercial feed.
The CIAT-led project ‘Sustainable Intensification of Crop-livestock Systems through Improved Forages’, funded by the USAID Linkage program with the CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish aims to assess environmental impacts of tropical forage technologies.
Increasing the productivity of small-scale production systems to make animal-source foods more readily available to poor consumers is a complex issue which requires a multi-faceted approach. With this concept in mind, scientists are working alongside territorial alliances to generate knowledge and initiatives to improve resource management through research. An example of this initiative, called the Learning Alliance.
On 27 February 2014, the Livestock and Fish program team in Nicaragua joined with partners CATIE, Center for Export and Investment Nicaragua (CEI), and Heifer International to launch a new project called ‘competitive beef and dairy through sustainable intensification and specialized market access’.