Assessment of silvopasture systems in the northern Peruvian Amazon

Abstract

Animal-agriculture is an important economic activity in the northern Peruvian Amazon Regions of Amazonas and San Martín but it has resulted in significant changes in land-use over time. Managed silvopasture systems have potential to improve degraded grasslands. However, to date, there is limited information about silvopasture systems in these regions, which limits an understanding of the potential of silvopasture systems to provide ecosystem services. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to identify and assess prevalent silvopasture systems as an initial and complementary step to study biological and economic responses in these systems. Land managers were surveyed in the three livestock-producing areas of Molinopampa (n = 130), Huayabamba (n = 89), and Moyobamba (n = 70). Our results indicate that raising cattle activities in these regions occur mainly in production units with area < 10 ha. Predominant silvopasture designs consisted of trees in live fences and scattered trees. Understory forage is mainly monoculture grass grazed by dual-purpose cattle breeds. The common denominators of the types of trees utilized in these systems are trees pruned to obtain firewood, followed by timber trees, followed by fruit trees. Cattle management consisted mainly of continuous stocking, followed by rotational stocking utilizing a rope, and also utilization of electric fencing for rotational stocking. Our data indicates that silvopasture systems in the Amazonas and San Martín regions of Peru occurred spontaneously and benefits and tradeoffs of implementing silvopastures remain largely unknown among producers.

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Acknowledgements

The authors express their appreciation to Vivian Calvo for her excellent support during manuscript preparation. Funding for this project was provided by the Programa Nacional de Innovación Agrararia (PNIA) of Peru, Project #2936.

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Correspondence to Miguel S. Castillo or Carlos Gómez.

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Pizarro, D., Vásquez, H., Bernal, W. et al. Assessment of silvopasture systems in the northern Peruvian Amazon. Agroforest Syst 94, 173–183 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10457-019-00381-9

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Keywords

  • Peru
  • Amazonas
  • San Martin
  • Assessment