Colombian farmers supported to be more sustainable using state-of-the-art data science research.
Livestock farmers are being given a helping hand to improve their production efficiency, reduce their environmental impact and increase their economic returns, thanks to an interdisciplinary group of researchers from the University of Glasgow.
Working with collaborators at Aberystwyth University, International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), and the University of Antioquia, the researchers are aiming to increase the efficiency of forage-based livestock production systems, which are integral to ensuring reliable and sustainable food provision for Colombia.
The country faces a challenge in helping its small and medium-scale farmers shift to sustainable lower-carbon cattle production systems that use less land, conserve more forests and provide higher incomes. Selective foraging patterns cause overuse in some areas and underuse in others, which have divergent consequences on plant community structure and function, and the nutritional quality of available feeds.
The project is developing ways to remotely sense forage biomass and quality, determine livestock production in relation to forage resource availability (fresh and conserved), measure nitrogen flows/capture/losses in the forage crop-livestock system, and explore ways to implement new crops and technologies onto Colombian cattle farms.
The University of Glasgow is a leader in world changing data science research and sustainable outcomes.
This research has received funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, Newton–Caldas Fund, and Scottish Funding Council.