Developing Dairy Operations in Tropical Nicaragua

Larry Tranel, Dairy Field Specialist, Northeast Area

Problem

Malnutrition and poverty are rampant in the developing world. Tropical forests being cut down and ensuing erosion affects the whole world. Poverty pulls down the whole world economy as unemployment and misuse of economic and environmental resources impacts our economy through fewer markets and environmental degradation. Nicaragua is one of those countries, the second poorest in the Americas.

Programmatic Response

This field specialist volunteered with US AID/Winrock International Farmer-to-Farmer program in September of 2004 and October of 2005 for 2.5 weeks each time to assist the Nicaraguan dairy industry to develop production, new producers, implement rotational grazing systems, and help give direction/develop the national agricultural university farms, professors and students with sustainable dairy development practices.

Impact/Outcome

In the first session over 100 producers and dairy technicians learned the benefits of rotational grazing and the economic impacts of various operational changes using more cows on fewer acres using electric fencing. In session 2 in 2005, over 160 students, 6 professionals and 4 producers, learned how to implement rotational grazing, better manage tropical pastures, provide incentive for laborers to produce more milk, and assist the thought process for younger operators to get into the dairy business. The evaluations by the professors regarding their students were very high, especially with the economic aspirations for dairy farming in Nicaragua. In addition, this field specialist is sharing the Dairy TRANS software program with them to help them analyze their operations, a concept that is directly lacking in the country. The program will be translated into Spanish for them by this field specialist and the program will be gifted to the University National Agricultura.

November 3, 2005
109 -- Dairy

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