1 Crop-livestock systems research in the Andean region: eco-regional approach, methods and procedures. 1 Carlos U. León-Velarde 2 Roberto A. Quiroz 3 Summary Increased population, low agricultural productivity, pressure for land, and overexploitation of natural resources are current problems in the Andean eco-region. Knowledge of the region is vast, but results from research site specific have been seldom integrated. A holistic eco-regional research approach is required to solve the problems and contribute to regional development. To this end, the appropriate definition of the term eco-region and the proper use of methods and procedures to generate and adapt technology are necessary for sustainable development. This paper aims to present the integration and management of knowledge in a holistic way for an effective application of systems analysis research to an eco-regional context. Introduction Agricultural researchers apply the scientific method to overcome factors limiting agricultural productivity. Appropriate technology and financial resources are keys limiting factors, particularly in resource poor farms. A close look at the scientific method makes us wonder if this method per se may be applied to solve technological and policy problems that constraint agricultural productivity. In a restrictive sense, the scientific method can be seen as a process that utilizes knowledge to generate new knowledge (Figure 1,adapted from Cañas and Lavados, 1989). Problem solving requires adaptation of knowledge to overcome limiting factors. The successful use of technology to solve major constraints to agricultural production relies upon an adequate experience with the problems within a specified context, and a good application of available knowledge. When this interface is used to solve agricultural problems of small farmers with their active participation, we say we are applying systems analysis research within the methodology of farming system research (FSR). Many of the reasons are already presented elsewhere (Dent, 1993, Thornton, 1991). This paper aims to contribute to the definition of eco-regional research and the integration and management of resources in a holistic way, for a more effective application of systems analysis research. It is not the authors intention to present a comprehensive review of the methods and procedures used to solve problems. Some examples from the experience in the Andean region are presented to show how the application of different tools and procedures can help in the context of an eco-regional research work. 1 Document presented to the Livestock Eco-regional workshop; ILRI. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 5-8 October Specialist in Animal Production; Coordinator of livestock eco-regional research/andean region. ILRI-CIP 3 Specialist in land use management; Head of Production Systems and Natural Resource Management. CIP. The authors acknowledge the helpful comments from Dr. Victor Mares; his suggestions are greatly appreciated.
2 Knowledge generation Scientific method Application of Knowledge OBJECTIVE PROBLEM HYPOTHESIS ANALYSIS EXPERIMENTATION AVAILABLE KNOWLEDGE YES IS TECHNOLOGY AVAILABLE? NO RESULTS SOCIO-ECONOMIC constraints PORTFOLIO OF SOLUTIONS NEW KNOWLEDGE EX-ANTE VIABLE? BEST SOLUTION NO EX-POST VIABLE? YES TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE Figure 1. Linking scientific method with knowledge use in FSR; (adapted from Cañas and Lavados, 1989). Towards a framework of eco-regional research Apparently, there is no consensus about the meaning of eco-region (Thornton, 1998). However, the eco-regional approach makes implicit the choices for various ways of agricultural land use that can be made, and the unavoidable trade off among objectives (Rabbinge, 1991). Consequently, the first step is to define the meaning of eco-region. The definition of a system group of physical components that have a structure and function help to understand the concept of eco-region. Fundamentally, a system has limits, components, inputs, outputs, and relationships among components. When we decide to separate a particular component as a system, we are not defining a new system, but accepting a simplified work hierarchical level within some boundaries that limit a particular sub-system. Nevertheless, the relationship among components of the defined system and the environment need to be studied to understand better the behavior of that system. An eco-region can be defined as an area that shares biological and socio-economic characteristic within administrative boundaries. These characteristic help to identify biophysical and socioeconomic opportunities and constraints for development. Therefore, an eco-regional research approach is a way of carrying out quantitative and integrative research on eco-regions. Eco-regions contain a diversity of soils, water resources, crops and livestock, and people in diverse social and economic conditions, who aim at an optimal and sustainable use of resources for agricultural development. Consequently, the eco-regional research approach requires the integration across disciplines, particularly of biophysical and socioeconomic sciences. We consider the Andean region as a system with sub-regions, each with particular biological, economic, social and climate characteristics. Therefore, the sub-regions, Northern (green Andes), Central (high altitude and narrow valleys), and the Altiplano (yellow or dry Andes) are the eco-regions of the Andean region (PISA, 1993; ILRI, 1997; CONDESAN, 1997).
3 The classification is based in rainfall, altitude and temperature among other bio-economic and social factors. The subregions include Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia, and Southern of Colombia is considered. The eco-regional research approach in the Andean region is shown in Figure 2. The right side of the figure shows the phases of the farming system research. The central section shows the systems analysis approach, whose goal is to generate, adapt or use knowledge to improve a particular system through adequate technological alternatives. These are generated by identifying the comparative advantages and market opportunities in the eco-region. The research pays particular attention to improving or maintaining the natural resource base. Figure 2. Eco-regional research approach in the Andean region integrating system analysis within farming system research P o l i c y Rural factors Andean Region Description analysis Alternatives Experimentation Validation Use & Adoption Eco- region Systems Farm Components GIS/RS Selection /area-farmers Characterization Case studies On farm experimentation On farm validation System analysis Alternatives/commodity Diffusion and adoption Information Experimental station The experimental work is conducted on farm or in a research station. The concept of on farm research needs to be clarified. It can be done with direct or indirect farmers participation. It will depend on the required scientific rigor and on how advanced the technology alternative is. Usually, this issue becomes a discussion between experimentation and validation, which should be solved by the common sense of researchers and extension agents. The dot line in Figure 2 indicates the diffusion phase, which is the responsibility of the national institutions. Duplication of efforts should be avoided. However, It is necessary to establish strong linkages between research institutes and extension agents to obtain impacts. In the Andean region the impact is measured as the number of NARS that are delivering a technological alternative generated under the eco-regional research approach. Bio-economic and social information to define an eco-region For a clear definition of an eco-region, it is necessary to define first the region (e.g. Andean). Then the research work should be oriented to define work sites (benchmark sites). A benchmark site is a work site representative of the eco-region. However, It is necessary to recognize that there would be a different social-economic dynamic. The benchmark site allows defining research activities toward development. During the study is necessary a clear definition of the hierarchical level. On each case, interaction of macro and micro economy need to be considered. The activities at farm level within the eco-region responds to round table consultations and activities at eco-regional level within a region respond to policy research. The main factors, parameters and variables considered in a characterization are:
4 Biophysical factors Soil, topography and slope; type of soils and erosion rate. Water sources, quantity (m 3 /s); seasonally; quality expressed in sediments residues and salinity. Use in agriculture and population. Vegetation. Use of NDVI (Normalized difference vegetation index); pasture, crops and forestry. Weather. Temperature (maximum and minimum); rainfall variability; radiation; hours of light; wind velocity. Agricultural production: crops, livestock, others. On each case quantity and quality. Social factors Index of human development (income, education, and expectance life) (PNUD, 1991). Economic factors National gross product; per-capita income. Price of local products at farm and market level. Price of imported products. Access to market: distance and quality of infrastructure (access roads). Estimation de primary transformation of the agricultural products (e.g. cheese, flour etc.) Institutional factors Presence of institutions and human resources. Table 1 summarize the main parameters and indicators considered in most crop-livestock production system. In the Andean region, a combination of crops, livestock and forestry is found. However, forestry as well as native grasslands should be intervened to avoid or control the rate of natural resource degradation.
5 Table 1. Main parameters and indicators considered in the analysis of a crop-livestock production systems. 1 Parameter/ Sub-system components 1 components Crop Rangelands Forest Soil properties Organic carbon content Nutrient content Cation exchange capacity Erosion rate Salinity Organic carbon content Nutrients content Nutrients contents Water quality and quantity Biological diversity Production of goods and services Energy and nutrient flow Landscape, composition and patterns Atmospheric composition Climate Salinity Seasonality Pollutant concentrations Species richness and diversity of indicator groups Population size of keystone species Crop diversity Soil and pest organism diversity Crop productivity (output/input) Crop genetic reserves Parent rock nutrient mobilization Nutrient (fertilizer) input fluxes Energy efficiency and quality Field size and mix Land use conversion rate Acid precipitation UV-B irradiation Troposphere ozone concentration Carbon dioxide concentration Temperature mean and variability Precipitation mean and Precipitation patterns Pollutant concentrations Species richness and diversity of indicator groups Population size of keystone species Forages diversity Stocking density Forage productivity Nutrient mobilization Grazing gradients Land use conversion rate Acid precipitation UV-B irradiation Troposphere ozone concentration Temperature mean and variability Precipitation mean and variability Seasonality Evapotranspiration fluxes Pollutant concentrations Base flow Species richness and diversity of indicator groups Population size of keystone species Forages diversity Wood and non-timber product yield Primary productivity Nutrient mobilization Spatial variation of vegetation types Land use conversion rate Acid precipitation UV-B irradiation Troposphere ozone concentration Carbon dioxide concentration Temperature mean and variability Precipitation mean and variability variability 1 Do not include wildlife/ wild-lands; freshwater fisheries; wetlands/groundwater; coastal resources and marine fisheries (Adapted from Munasinghe and McNeally, 1995) Working in an eco-region Work in an eco-region requires biophysical, economic, social and institutional information. Table 2 shows the biophysical factor with the parameters and variables needed to define and classified areas of intervention. The biophysical indicators determine three types of zones: 1. Degradable 2. Vulnerable, and 3. Zones with potential of intensification or diversification. Interaction of socio-economic and biophysical indicators with the institutional capacity result in a biophysical and socioeconomic characterization. Usually the eco-regional research is on the two first categories. Consequently, in type one, a work in soil conservation and forestry should be planned. Usually categories 2 and 3 overlap, allowing a better development of an eco-regional research. However, in some cases, these categories also have areas with category one, and
6 research becomes a challenge; especially for short duration research projects. Consequently, links with policy research should be incorporated, or at least recommendations must be addressed. Table 2. Information required for biophysical characterization of an eco-region Type of information Variable Frequency Unit Format Process Soil Secondary information Types of soils 1 Digital map Make map Slope 1 Digital map Local classification Type of soils 1 Digital map Make map Vegetation Secondary information Covered vegetation 1 Digital map Aerial photography Covered vegetation 1 Photo/Digital Make map Satellite image Covered vegetation 1 Dep.res 1 Digital map Make map Water Secondary information Sources of water 1 Digital map Caudal river By season m 3 /s Chart/Digital Sediments/residues By season µ Chart/Digital Salinity By season Chart/Digital Weather Secondary & primary information Use of water By season Chart/Digital Temperature (max/min). Daily ºC Chart/Digital Probabilities & Precipitation Daily mm Chart/Digital Annual pattern Radiation/hours light Daily J Chart/Digital Annual pattern Wind Daily m/s Chart/Digital Agricultural production Secondary information Crop production Annual t/ha Chart/Digital Link-map Livestock production Annual t/ha Chart/Digital Link-map Forestry 5 years Dep.res 1 Chart/digital Link-map 1 Depends of resolution. Figure 3 shows in schematic form the institutions, methods and efforts for rural development from the lower (farm) to highest hierarchical level (eco-region or region). Many projects tend to change a farm situation, but not the eco-region. Note that the efforts face a point where we need a round table with decision-makers (political level). In these cases model simulations (use of scenarios) and policy research are necessary. Table 4 describes the phases of the eco-regional research based in system analysis.
7 Potential production Government Enterprise Cooperatives Institutions Competitive advantage Region Policy Generality Methods Policy research Regional Government Local groups NGO s Eco-region Round Tables Macro-economy GIS & RS Figure 3. Schematic representation of the rural development based on the eco-regional research Table 4. Methods and procedures utilized in the eco-regional research in the Andean region based in the farming system analysis. 4 Phase Methods Observations/procedures Characterization Analysis On farm/station Experimentation and validation Farmers Researchers Actual production Secondary information Static and dynamic surveys Rapid rural appraisal GIS & Remote sensing Principal components & cluster analysis Linear and non linear mathematical models Simulation models Econometric models Cost-benefit analysis Experimental design (classic) Composite central design Trials farmer vs alternative Farm / site Food & Economic security Simulation/models Micro-economy Basic & applied Research Precision Statistic/compilation; charts, figures. Farmer participation; depend the dynamic of the variables Farmer participation Satellite images; ground throuting; maps Definition of farmer strata & target population Trends; sustainability (logistic, linear and non-linear models) Comparison of scenarios (current and potential); risk analysis Economic response; linear programming, multiple goal programming. Profitability; risk analysis Cause-effect response Response surface; scenarios Validation on farm/linking adoption Diffusion/farmers Researchers and Extension agents Fields days; short courses Publication; manuals Seminars; workshops Communication media Farmers participation/linking adoption Description of technological alternatives Researchers and extension agents Radio; television (tapes-short and case studies) 4 Methods and procedures are discusses elsewhere (Leon-Velarde, Quiroz, 1994; Montgomery, 1984; Anderson and Dillon, 1992).
8 Analysis of scenarios and site selection The quantitative information plays an important role in the selection of a site. However, external influences can be out of scope from the point of view of researchers; therefore a balance between research and development is required. The use of bio-mathematical models (e.g. linear programming, multiple goal programming, linear and non-linear models; table 3) or computer model simulation (ALES 5, DSSAT 6, EPIC 7 others 8 ) help to analyze current and potential scenarios. Results from the actual and potential scenarios give the possibility to obtain a change and impact in a particular selected site or a technological alternative (Pandey,1995; Quiroz, et al., 1998). One important tool is the response surface (Montgomery, 1984). This tool can be used from results of factorial or simulation models constructed to evaluate the effect of several factors as representation of actual system keeping track of the behavior of the system in time. As an example, figure 4 shows a response surface of the dynamic of herds in the Andean region. Herds with less than five cows have more possibilities of an intensification process. Herds with 2 to 5 cows with management effects from 50-60% indicate a status quo of the animal production in the Andean region. Herds with more that five cows have more possibilities of an intensification considering an adequate level of management (>60%), and farm size with market orientation. Similar example is described in alpacas (Leon-Velarde and Quiroz, 1994), as well as in dairy production (Leon-Velarde, Muñoz, et al., 1994) Animal units Herd size (cows) Management effects, % 90 Figure 4. Dynamic of the herd size in relation to herd management effects (calving rate, mortality, age at first service) in the Andean region. Response surface simulated over ten years. 5 Automated Land use evaluation, ALES (1994). 6 The Decision Support System for Agro-technology Transfer,DSSAT.(Bowen, 1993; Tsuji, 1994) 7 Evaluation productivity impact calculator, EPIC 8 Simulation models; Leon-Velarde and Quiroz (1994); Leon-Velarde, 1997; Arce (1994), Quiroz, (1995).
9 Linking eco-regional research with sustainability and adoption of technological alternatives The goal of the eco-regional approach dictates the methodology and the tools that we can use. Case studies aim at the exploration of possibilities from studies that investigate what is expected in the near future. In many of these studies, a time horizon is needed. Trends based on the secondary information give possibilities and expectations for the near future. Different models (linear regression, logistic curve among others) can be applied to observe the rate of improvement over time. In our case, we are measuring sustainability as the increased rate of a particular parameter within a factor (biological, economic or social). Searching for a composite index to measure sustainability is a challenge. Consequently our approach is to use the income (gross or net) over years. Simulation models that include several factors can help to measure farm or ecoregion sustainability. At the same time, it allows to observe the effect of a particular factor (e.g. soil or pasture sustainability etc.). 6 Altiplano). The logistic curve used shows three phases: the initial sustainability, the technical increment, and the bio-economic sustainability (Leon-Velarde, 1992, Quiroz et al.1998). Similar pattern with milk production and herd productivity, comparing estimated and real data, was demonstrate in Guyana (Leon-Velarde, Muñoz, et al., 1994). In a similar way, the alternatives generated for a production system in the eco-region need to be incorporated into farms through an adoption process. During this process, the main constraint is capital; consequently, the degree of adoption need to be measured. The adoption curve Y= b 0 e b1t /(1-b 0 (1- e b1t ) contributes to measure or estimate the adoption process. Figure 6 shows the numbers of farmers adopting a particular alternative to produce seed potato in rustic greenhouses. The project reached the target during the project development; however, the time required for a total population is close to ten years. The question is who will be in charge after the project finalization. This calls strengthening the links with national institutions. 5 Gross Income $ (Thousands) Year Figure 5. Simulated gross income accrued by Alpaca farmers in time, by adopting new pasture management and herd techniques (based on 80 ha farm size in the Altiplano). Y= b 0 /(1+b 1 e -b2t) ); b 0 =3,891.2, b 1 =22.2, and b 2 =0.57. Figure 5 shows the scenario income accrued by alpaca farmers in time, by adopting new pasture management and herd techniques (based on 80 ha farm size in the 14 Producers (Percentage) Project action on farms Project action on total farms TIME (years) Figure 6. Impact of adoption of potato seed production in rustic greenhouses. SEIMPA, project, Puno
10 Andean eco-region research: conceptual and operational scheme. Eco-regional research in the Andean region is based on the conceptual framework described above. The activities are set up distinguishing the environment, the biophysical, economic and social aspects within administrative boundaries; examples are countries and watershed. The region is divided in three sub regions, North Andes (green Andes), Central Andes (high altitude and narrow valleys zone), and South Andes (Altiplano). The first sub-region includes Colombia, Ecuador and Northern Peru. The second sub-region is Central Peru and the third one is the Altiplano between Peru and Bolivia. Each of these sub-regions constitutes an eco-region on which a specific work site has been defined. The coordination is done with different institutions. It was identified that in each site should be present a research or education institution (national research institutions or university) linked with an extension institute (e.g. NGO s). Table 4 summarizes the sites within ecoregions. Each site presents special characteristics, however the problems have the same direction, but the magnitude is different. Consequently, on each site within an eco-region, the priorities change in relation to market opportunities. In some case subsistence is important, and the surplus production is to market. In other sites, intensification of crop-livestock systems with clear market orientation is the priority. Table 5 shows the orientation and focus of research planned in the Andean region, based on the conceptual framework (Figure 7). All the work is being done in horizontal collaboration with different projects. Among them are the projects funded by the Spanish Agency of International Cooperation (AECI), the International Development Research Center, IDRC, the International Potato Center, CIP (Project 14) and the Consortium for the Sustainable Development of the Andean Eco-region, CONDESAN. The mail goal is to improve family income through a sustainable land use based in croplivestock systems. The gray shaded areas represent the work components, while the non-shaded areas are the operational research carried out with the national institutions on different degrees of collaboration. Table 6 shows the links of each participating institution with the operational research (Figure 7). Table 5. Livestock eco-regional research in the Andean region; research and constraints. Focus of research Constraints Credit studies with technical assistance Pasture management; research activities / nutrient cycling Non traditional animal feeding; use of Andean products Minimization of climatic risk Integration of crop-livestock activities with market orientation Health & diseases Capital & Technology Forage availability Lack of demand Altitude & conform zone Products & transformation Management effects
11 Table 6. Livestock eco-regional research in Latin America within the Andean region; countries, agro-ecological sites and partners. Country Site/eco-region Characteristics Institution Type Colombia La Miel Hillsides &inter- Andean valleys Ecuador Peru El Carchi Chimborazo Cajamarca oo a Junin Inter-Andean n valleys Inter- andean valleys Rainfed grasslands Inter-andean valleys high Caldas University IGALA Foundation INIAP ESPOCH Cajamarca University ASPADERU C Agrarian University SAIS Tupac Amaru Mañazo altitude. Altiplano /wet-dry CIRNMA Puno University Bolivia Aroma Altiplano /dry ASPROLP ASan Simon University R=research; T=teaching;C=credit;E=extension. R & T ONG/C-E R & E E R & T ONG/E-C R & T Coop. ONG/E R & T Coop. R & T POLITICAL DECISIONS Land Use FARMER DECISIONS CROPS N-fixation GRASSLANDS ANNUAL FORAGES Grazing ANIMALS MANURE CROPS RESIDUES FORAGE RESIDUES FERTILIZATION Organic; inorganic SOIL Nutrients: Available Stable Losses through Denitrification Drainage, others CROP PRODUCTION grains, tubers roots, others ANIMAL PRODUCTION meat, milk, wool fiber,, manure, others INCOME NUTRITION Figure 7 Scheme of the conceptual framework of the eco-regional research in the Andean region. MARKET
12 Studies, results and perspectives The livestock eco-regional research in the Andean region is just starting. However, results mentioned are based on previous work in collaboration with the above mentioned projects. Table 7 summarizes the most important results achieved. Table 7.Studies and main results of the livestock eco-regional research in the Andean region. Component Procedure/research Observations/comments Forage availability Use of aquatic forage Risk minimization Annual and perennial Use of native pasture Herd management Shelter and pre-dried of llachu &totora Shelter and forage base / calf Combination of barley, winter wheat, oats with alfalfa Increase of grazing area (bofedales) Alpaca herd Cow herd management Gain weight kg/day; 142 % Gain weight 72 % on calves Improve forage base; 38-76% D.M Improve stoking rate and production. Improve fiber characteristic by using index selection; 16-22% Use of records/milk production and reproduction Dual purpose and dairy; scenarios Model simulation Bio-economic analysis Risk analysis Model to compare alternatives Credit studies Revolving funds/credit Improve forage base and herd Family income Integration of portfolio of technological alternatives US$ 1,980; % Potato,2.8 kg/m 2 ; commercial greenhouses/vegetables Soil/land use Nutrient cycling studies Forage-manure; 12-26% Perspectives The perspectives considered in the eco-regional research can be summarize in: Integration of crop-livestock activities; subsistence and commercial; promotion of micro-enterprise. Improve livestock products; establishing micro-enterprises with orientation to aggregate value through product transformation. Linkage of partners in a horizontal collaboration; a research network of livestock research is being promoted. Training of researchers, students, agents of extension and farmers are considered in a training component. Publications; manuals and papers.
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