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International researchers discuss new strategies to improve pasture management on livestock farms

  • Through improved management of pastures, better economic and environmental results can be achieved on the livestock farms of Latin America and the Caribbean

April 24, 2019. In recent years, the amount of research on the improvement of pastures and silvopastoral systems in the tropics has increased significantly. From April 24 to 26, in Costa Rica, CATIE (Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center), together with Bangor University, United Kingdom, will hold a workshop with researchers, extensionists and representatives of the private livestock sector from the countries of the region and beyond. They will review and analyze recent advances in the production and use of fodder and its effects on livestock production in the tropical zones of Latin America and the Caribbean.

"The idea of this analysis is to summarize the state of the art of forage research and identify the gaps in information and the opportunities offered by research and development platforms in the field of intensification of pasture-based livestock in the tropics in the Americas. The purpose is to lay the foundations for future international collaboration efforts among key institutions in the region and beyond that to investigate how to improve the management of tropical pastures for economic and environmental purposes, "explained Claudia Arndt, postdoctoral researcher of the Environmental Livestock Unit of CATIE.

 It is expected that by having a concerted research agenda, jointly developed by the public and private sectors, a more efficient and strategic use can be made of the resources that the countries have to support the development of the livestock sector. In addition, the workshop seeks to develop new research proposals with the support of strategic partners, which can be managed by different donors in the region interested in the subject. The workshop has 30 participants from all of Latin America and the Caribbean, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Australia and Africa. 

“Sustainable intensification of beef and dairy production systems requires a multidisciplinary approach. This is a societal challenge that no one organization or expertise can meet alone – we need experts in different topics. Hence, this workshop has been designed to bring together international experts to form a consensus of the gaps in our research knowledge and prioritize future research and development proposals to address these gaps. The workshop offers opportunity for making new international collaborations and to accelerate progress in this area”, said Dave Chadwick, professor of Sustainable Land Use at the University of Bangor (UK).

According to Muhammad Ibrahim, Director General of CATIE, the expansion of traditional livestock production, based on the use of monocultures of low-quality pastures and productivity in Central and South America is one of the main causes of deforestation and generates important environmental pressures, including greenhouse gas emissions. Hence the importance of farmers adopting good practices of pasture management and silvopastoral systems, which contribute to increase the resilience of systems to climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

This workshop is part of the actions of the Sustainable Future Project for the Dairy Sector of Costa Rica: Optimization of Environmental and Economic Results, known as SusCoRiDa, and was funded by Bangor University (UK), via the UK Global Challenges Research Fund of the United Kingdom. 

Workshop participants


More information:

Claudia Arndt
Postdoctoral Researcher
Environmental Livestock Unit.
Agriculture, Livestock and Agroforestry Program
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Written by:

Karla Salazar Leiva
Information Technology and Communication
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