By Comunicaciones

Context and objectives:

Demand for animal proteins in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) has increased in the last 50 years due to population growth, improvements in income and urbanization. Additionally, LAC is a net exporter of livestock products and contributes with 30% of global demand. Unfortunately, in most cases, pasture expansion has been at the expense of the forest. Additionally, it is estimated that livestock contributes with 18% of the emission of greenhouse gases (GHG). On the other hand, livestock is key for food security and the livelihood of family farmers. By 2050, it is estimated that the demand for livestock products will continue to increase, so it is urgent to intensify livestock production in a sustainable way, improving productivity and reducing the intensity of GHG emissions.

A group of 25 countries has established a regional platform that has been operating since 2017, with the aim of promoting cooperation between the countries of the region in the sustainable intensification of livestock. The platform is coordinated by CATIE and is supported by FONTAGRO, GEF, IDB and the Government of New Zealand.


The proposed solution:

The project had the following components: 1) Develop and facilitate a regional research and development agenda on the subject, 2) Facilitate the exchange of knowledge, 3) Strengthen the capacities of the main actors, 4) Contribute to the formulation of enabling policies for the sustainable intensification of livestock and 5) Join efforts to mobilize resources to address these issues.


Main Results:

The platform has made significant progress on the objectives set, including the development of the regional agenda, documenting successful experiences, the organization of training, and the establishment of strategies and mechanisms for knowledge management.


  • The platform links more than 600 members of the innovation systems of 25 countries.
  • 367 publications were reviewed identifying technologies and good agricultural practices that contribute to improving livestock productivity and reducing the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions. These include: the rational management of pastures, options in silvopastoral systems, adapted animal genotypes, improvements in nutrition and feeding, management of reproduction and health, and enabling policies for sustainable intensification. Ten innovations with high potential for adaptation to climate change were identified, 9 applicable to family farming. Priority areas are also recommended for research and training such as: practical methodologies for estimating emissions, evaluation of fodder species with bioactive compounds (polyphenols, saponins) that reduce methanogenesis, more digestible feeds, excreta management, measurement of economic impact of pollution and mitigation actions, and use of models for Life Cycle Analysis.
  • Four Webinars were carried out on priority issues (nutrition and feeding, ruminal microbiology and emissions, nitrous oxide emissions, and regional experiences in good practices). They involved the participation of 12 experts from 10 countries and benefited 264 professionals (98 women and 166 men) from 18 countries
  • Five virtual courses (silvopastoral options, intensification strategies, GHG measurement methodologies, innovations for family farming and enabling conditions) were organized, benefiting 219 professionals (80 women and 139 men) from 12 countries
  • Based on the review of livestock policies in 19 LAC countries, a policy brief was prepared with recommendations for formulation of enabling conditions to increase productivity and lower GHG emissions intensity. They included the pursual of intersectoral approaches, public-private articulation, and the use of knowledge based and focused experiences.


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FONTAGRO was created 1998 with the purpose of promoting the increase of the competitiveness of the agri-food sector, ensuring the sustainable management of natural resources and the reduction of poverty in the region. The objective of FONTAGRO is to establish itself as a sustainable financing mechanism for the development of agricultural technology in Latin America and the Caribbean, and to establish a forum for the discussion of priority topics of technological innovation. The member countries are: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Spain, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic, Uruguay and Venezuela. In the last 21 years 144 regional agricultural innovation platforms have been co-financed for an amount of US $ 112 million, which has reached 230 institutions and 29 countries worldwide


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