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From Design to Implementation: A Participatory Appraisal for Silvopastoral Systems

  • Silvia Berenice Fischer
  • Alejandra Pedraza Luengas
  • Sabine Schlüter
  • Luiz Antonio Oliveira Antunes
Chapter
Part of the Springer Series on Environmental Management book series (SSEM)

Abstract

Small-scale dairy farming in rural areas of Rio de Janeiro state is characterized by low levels of productivity, lack of technological innovation, and land degradation particularly due to overgrazing. A field study was conducted to identify the potentialities and constraints to adopt integrated systems pasture-tree-livestock (silvopastoral systems, SPS) to improve small-scale dairy farming in Italva municipality in the Northwest of the state. Qualitative and quantitative information on dairy production regimes as well as the willingness to adopt SPS was collected, based on semi-structured interviews. The present dairy farming system was analyzed and characterized. Additionally, an on-farm fodder bank trial plot, adapted to the local socio-environmental conditions, was implemented. The barriers for adoption and socio-environmental benefits for small dairy farmers were identified and analyzed. Lessons learned from this research such as the reluctance to adopt these systems due to the long-term investment return and the high costs for initial implementation show the need of expanding the dissemination of knowledge and implementation of SPS in the region. Research and trainings were integrated in participatory capacity building of farmers to provide adequate tools and concepts and support decision-making.

Keywords

Agroforestry practices Dairy farming Small-scale farming Sustainable land management Farmer’s participation 

Resumo (Português) Do Design à Implementação: Uma Abordagem Participativa para Sistemas Silvopastorais

A produção leiteira de pequena escala, nas áreas rurais do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, é caracterizada por baixa produtividade, falta de inovação tecnológica e degradação da terra, principalmente devido ao sobrepastoreio. Um estudo de campo foi conduzido para identificar o potencial e os gargalos da adoção de sistemas integrados de pecuária-floresta (sistemas silvopastoris (SPS)) a fim de melhorar a produção leiteira de pequena escala no município de Italva, no Noroeste do Estado. Foram coletadas informações qualitativas e quantitativas sobre os regimes da produção leiteira, bem como a disposição dos produtores em adotar SPS, com base em entrevistas semi-estruturadas. O sistema atual de produção leiteira foi analisado e caracterizado. Além disso, foi implementada uma unidade de pesquisa piloto de um banco de proteína em uma propriedade, adaptada às condições socioambientais locais. As barreiras para a adoção e os benefícios socioambientais proporcionados aos pequenos produtores de leite foram identificados e analisados. As lições aprendidas com a pesquisa, bem como a relutância em adotar esses sistemas, devido ao retorno do investimento a longo prazo e os altos custos iniciais de implementação, mostram a necessidade de ampliar a disseminação do conhecimento e a implementação de sistemas silvopastoris na região. Pesquisas e treinamentos foram integrados à capacitação participativa dos agricultores a fim de fornecer ferramentas adequadas, conceitos e instrumentos para apoiar a tomada de decisões.

Palavras-chave

Práticas agroflorestais Produção leitera Produção em pequena escala Manejo sustentável da terra Participação dos agricultores 

Resumen (Español) Del Diseño a la Implementación: Un Enfoque Participativo para los Sistemas Silvopastorales

El sistema de producción de leche en granjas bovinas familiares en zonas rurales del estado de Rio de Janeiro, está caracterizada por niveles bajos de productividad, falta de innovación tecnológica y la degradación de las tierras, especialmente causada por el sobrepastoreo. Se realizó un estudio de campo para identificar las potencialidades y restricciones para adoptar sistemas integrados pastura-arboles-ganado (sistemas silvopastoriles (SPS)) con el objetivo de mejorar la producción lechera a pequeña escala en el municipio de Italva en el noroeste del estado. En base a entrevistas semiestructuradas, se obtuvo información cualitativa y cuantitativa sobre los regímenes de producción lechera y se identificó la voluntad de adoptar SPS. Se llevó a cabo una caracterización del sistema actual de producción lechera y se implementó una parcela piloto de un banco de forrajeras en la finca, adaptada a las condiciones socioambientales locales. Se analizaron las barreras para la adopción de SPS y los beneficios socioambientales para los pequeños productores lecheros. Las lecciones aprendidas de esta investigación como la reticencia a adoptar estos sistemas debido al retorno de inversión a largo plazo y los altos costos de implementación los muestran la necesidad de expandir la diseminación del conocimiento y la implementación de sistemas silvopastoriles en la región. La investigación y la capacitación se integraron en el desarrollo de capacidades de manera participativa con los agricultores para proporcionar herramientas y conceptos adecuados y apoyar la toma de decisiones.

Palabras clave

Prácticas agroforestales Producción lechera Producción de baja escala Manejo sostenible de la tierra Participación campesina 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We gratefully acknowledge the contribution of Dr. Juan Carlos Torrico for his contribution to the conceptualization and operationalization of this research. We thank our colleagues from Rio Rural program and EMATER Italva who provided insight and supported this research during all stages.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Silvia Berenice Fischer
    • 1
  • Alejandra Pedraza Luengas
    • 2
  • Sabine Schlüter
    • 1
  • Luiz Antonio Oliveira Antunes
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute for Technology and Resources Management in the Tropics and Subtropics (ITT)TH Köln – University of Applied SciencesKölnGermany
  2. 2.Danaus ConsultantsBelmopanBelize
  3. 3.The Sustainable Rural Development Program in Micro-Watersheds of the State of Rio de Janeiro – Rio RuralNiteróiBrazil

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