Degraded land and climate change
Livestock systems take up nearly 80% of all agricultural areas worldwide and are worth around $1.4 trillion. The sector employs 1.3 billion people globally and directly supports the livelihoods of 600 million poor smallholder farmers in the developing world.
Finding balanced, tailored approaches
World livestock production is too important and too diverse for a one-size-fits-all solution. The challenge is to find a balance between food security, poverty, equity, environmental sustainability and economic development in each region. We bring people together to find solutions, test them, and share them globally.
Through a pilot programme in Nicaragua, we co-established a zero-deforestation livestock platform, alongside stakeholders from the private and public sectors, producer organizations and CSOs.
Across Tanzania, a total of 425 farms in Tanzania and dairy farmers were educated on various topics including calf rearing, heat detection, proper feeding of dairy cows, formulation of home-made ration, fodder growing, management and storage, record keeping, animal health and herd projections. In Southern Africa, the Livestock project trained a total of 414 smallholder farmers on holistic rangelands management, and 61 service providers have achieved self-sustenance.
In South America livestock farmers maintained 49 percent of their native forest and increased their productivity by 31 percent against the regional baseline, while decreasing carbon emissions by 18 percent per hectare and 14 percent per kilogram of beef produced.
In Zambia, we launched a pilot livestock programme focusing on grazing land, climate mitigation and resilience. The project seeks to restore practices that help the ecosystem thrive while increasing knowledge around cattle breeding from the market perspective. In Paraguay, we supported small-scale dairy producers to adopt climate-smart technologies to improve herds’ resilience to sustained droughts in Dry Chaco. This increased dairy productivity by 17%, which led to two new cooperatives to adopt climate-smart technologies.
As a result of the Paris Climate Agreement, livestock sustainability is gaining more attention worldwide. One of the challenges is to combine climate-smart livestock production with a decent income for the millions that try to earn a living in livestock. Solidaridad’s experience from the eight livestock Farmer Support Programmes in seven countries provided a solid foundation for setting up new initiatives in 2016.
Livestock in the spotlight
The UN Climate Change Conference in November 2015 put the spotlight even more firmly on sustainability in the livestock sector, which is responsible for about 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Within the industry, there is considerable potential to reduce emissions, particularly by low-yielding smallholder producers in the global South. There are social implications too, with more than 1.3 billion people around the world dependent for their livelihoods on livestock production.
The Farmer Support Programme, including Livestock, is running in seven different countries: South Africa, Namibia, Kenya, Nicaragua, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Brazil. Later this year it is expected the Global Roundtable on Sustainable Beef (GRSB) will launch its principles and criteria for sustainable beef.
The livestock dairy project began in Bangladesh while in South America Solidaridad tested a continual improvement self-assessment tool for livestock.
Solidaridad co-founded and became a board member of the Global Roundtable on Sustainable Beef (GRSB). Additionally, Solidaridad launched the Livestock Farmer Support Programme.
The work begins
Livestock became a full supply chain programme and the first International Programme Coordinator is appointed.
A first for beef
First Global Conference on Sustainable Beef. Solidaridad started its cooperation with Zandbergen, a major meat distributor.
Solidaridad engaged with the cattle sector. This later lead to the formation of the Brazilian Roundtable on Sustainable Livestock (GTPS).
Solidaridad supported work on poverty alleviation by developing farming with small ruminants (goats).
Where we work
Learning livestock management
While a growing middle class in the Southern African region has led to a steady growth in the demand for animal protein, livestock producers have faced significant challenges in terms of the drought that has affected the region for the past couple of years. The livestock programme aims to support livestock producers to improve management that can increase productivity and efficiency while simultaneously helping to reverse land degradation that has occurred across the region from unsustainable grazing patterns.
The white gold revolution
Dairy consumption is increasing globally, presenting an opportunity for farmers in developing countries. Small-scale dairy farmers need to produce high-quality dairy to realize their full potential in this growing, formalized market.
Dairy as a meaningful proposition
The global dairy sector faces several challenges. For
the majority of family farmers, it remains a challenge to earn a
decent livelihood with dairy production. At Solidaridad, we see opportunities to transform the dairy sector of low- and middle-income countries into a competitive and sustainable sector, hereby building the capacity of many countries to take care of their own dairy production at the local level.