On Friday, September 27, 2019, SDC held a field day to launch the publication “Sustainable Livestock: Practical Guide for the Northwest of Pichincha”. It was held at the El Porvenir farm in Nanegalito, and was attended by several local authorities, representatives of civil society organizations and at least 30 cattle ranchers from the parishes of the Andean Chocó Commonwealth (MCA).
This guide is the result of the joint work carried out by the Chocó Andino Community, the Imaymana Foundation, the Bosques Andinos Programme, the EcoAndes Project, and local technicians and livestock farmers.
Oscar Armijos, president of the MCA, welcomed the guests with the words “We can produce more, we can improve our family income while taking care of the common resources that we have on our land.”
Inty Arcos of Imaymana and Ana Carolina Benítez from CONDESAN went on to speak briefly about the importance of implementing the practices in the local landscape.
Finally, Juan Carlos Cabezas, principle author of the guide and owner of the El Porvenir farm, gave a detailed description of his transition from traditional to sustainable livestock and the benefits it has brought him.
The field visit included a tour of the cowsheds, the biodigester, worm beds and then the paddocks, where the visitors were shown the rational grazing system, the water distribution network, and the silvopasture and restoration areas of the farm.
Ricardo Velasco, from El Pachijal Farm in Gualea said “What you see here on this property is that cattle ranching, production and conservation go hand in hand. It is truly marvellous to see properties that are self-sufficient and raise awareness about caring for the environment.”
Cattle ranching is currently the most widespread productive activity in the northwest of Pichincha and the one that has always caused the greatest deforestation. People have raised livestock for over fifty years in the area and although it is less productive elsewhere in the country, it is at the core of the local economy and is a key way of life for many households.
The guide explains how to raise livestock according to the landscape, looking at the particular context, in order to adjust practices to both boost the livestock sector and support the conservation of ecosystems. It also aims to open the sector to government and the private sector support, so that livestock can be raised sustainably throughout the parishes of the Commonwealth and other similar areas.
Download the guide here.
Bosques Andinos is an iniciative in the countries of the Andean mountain range. It is part of the Global Climate Change Programme of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and is facilitated by the consortium HELVETAS Swiss Inter-cooperation (Condesan).