Sustainable Intensification of Dairy
Global population is expected to keep on increasing, which implies an increase in food demand. In this context, in order to supply this demand, increases in productivity will be required.
Latin America and the Caribbean region have enough natural resources to produce milk, even to double the current production levels. However, would it be feasible to increase productivity, and at the same time to improve family’s income and wellbeing, minimizing environmental impacts?
To talk about sustainable intensification in Latin America and the Caribbean was a challenge, given the high diversity of dairy production systems, the lack of characterization of these systems and the cultural differences between the different countries. With Project LACTIS a cooperation platform was developed, which enabled to stablish a baseline, develop common indicators in order to character the systems, to validate improved systems, and at the same time to strengthen technicians and researchers’ abilities while spreading knowledge.
The technological solution
To evaluate sustainable intensification strategies, the ‘Dairy systems simulation model’ and the ‘Dairy Monitor’ were developed and adapted to the dairy production systems of the region (LAC). The simulation model enables to model - with a few inputs and easy to obtain on-farm – the baseline production systems in each country and improved scenarios, evaluating the biophysical, economic, social, and environmental impact. The 'Dairy Monitor 2' allowed the monitoring of commercial farms' physical, economic, social, and environmental indicators in which the planned changes were implemented. The proposed scenarios were validated on monitored commercial farms, with the interaction of technicians and farmers, resulting in learning exchange and knowledge divulgation.
A regional dairy productions systems baseline establishment was achieved, through the classification and description of the production systems in 11 countries from LAC. Also, the selection of improved strategies for sustainable intensification was achieved, through the agreed selection of key performance indicators of biophysical, economic, social and environmental performance. The project reached the simulation of sustainable intensification strategies in each county through the development and adaptation of the ‘Dairy systems simulation model’ applicable to LAC dairy systems. The development and validation of improved systems in 17 pilot farms in Honduras, Panamá, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Ecuador was performed. A farmlet study at INTA Rafaela (TAMBO ROCA 2030 Project) in which two dairy systems with two different animal biotypes are being evaluated was started. The capacity building of 450 field technicians, researchers and 200 farmers was achieved.
- 15 researchers that work in different topics within dairy and belong to the co-executor and associated organisms of the project. They have been directly involved in all the project activities.
- 450 technicians and researchers have been trained in modelling and validating and implementing environmental, economic, and social sustainable dairy intensification systems
- A total of 200 farmers and technicians are directly involved in the project.
- It is estimated that the project has approximately 391.152 farmers indirectly benefited, covering around 5.000 annual hectares y 20 million potential hectares.
Sustainable Development Goals
- Instituto Nacional de Investigación Agropecuaria (INIA) - Uruguay
- Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (CATIE) - Costa Rica
- Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria (INTA) - Argentina
- Fundación ArgenINTA (ARGENINTA) - Argentina
- Dirección de Ciencia y Tecnología Agropecuaria (DICTA) - Honduras
- Instituto Dominicano de Investigaciones Agropecuarias y Forestales (IDIAF) - República Dominicana
- Instituto de Innovación Agropecuaria de Panamá (IDIAP) - Panamá
- Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Agrícolas (INIA) - Venezuela
- Instituto de Investigaciones Agropecuarias (INIA) - Chile
- Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Agropecuarias (INIAP) - Ecuador
- Instituto Nacional de Innovación y Transferencia en Tecnología Agropecuaria (INTA) - Costa Rica
- Instituto Nicaragüense de Tecnología Agropecuaria (INTA) - Nicaragua
- Instituto Paraguayo de Tecnología Agraria (IPTA) - Paraguay
- HEIFER - Nicaragua