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Andean Region

08/11/2017

High Andes milk production at risk

An institutional effort is being made to promote milk consumption in Bolivia, which would contribute to the Bolivian population's nutrition, rural development and building food security with sovereignty within the country.

Andean locals milk a cow in Baja, Altiplano, Bolivia.

The increase in milk consumption plays a strategic role in rural agricultural and livestock development, especially for the approximately 16,900 small farmer families throughout the country, which produce less than 50 liters of milk per day and obtain their sustenance from these sales. This is the predominant type of production in the High Andes region, especially in the high plains of La Paz.

Nevertheless, the problem of milk production in general and of small dairy farmers in particular is diverse and complex. First of all, there is the factor of climate change. The variations in temperatures and rainfall present a latent risk for agricultural production. For example, in 2017, many producer families in the high plains of La Paz were affected by late rainfall, which led to serious losses in fodder reserves due to rotting. In conjunction with inadequate agricultural management, uneven distribution of rainfall, hail, strong winds and unexpected frost, all of these factors adversely affected the production of fodder, thereby shaking the veritable foundations of dairy production. 

Another concerning aspect is decreasing competitiveness of small producers in the High Andes in comparison to mid-sized and large dairy producers, which are mainly located in Eastern Bolivia. These larger producers have the resources and technology necessary to obtain higher yields, lower production costs and greater profitability with their products.

 

 

Please note that this article was not originally written in this language.
This article is incomplete. Click here to read the full text from its original source, Bolpress
Photo Credit: UN Photo/Jeffrey Foxx (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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