Climate change is generating great impacts on the livestock industry to a large extent in southern Europe, causing situations of animal stress due to high temperatures, consequent decrease in productivity and cost overruns by producers who must make greater efforts to maintain quality life of the animal. On the one hand, the scarcity and low quality of water and the deterioration of pastures due to heat waves and the erosion of the soil are seen after the torrential rains even worse.
On the other hand, some practices acquired by farmers in recent years (massive use of deforming products among others) must also be reviewed and adapted to the new climate scenario if we are to achieve the sustainability of extensive farms.
To deal with this situation that jeopardizes the sustainability of extensive livestock farming, a consortium of entities has launched the project of the European LIFE program “LiveAdapt: Adaptation to Climate Change of Extensive Livestock production models in the EU”.
LiveAdapt’s main objective is the implementation of a strategy based on innovative technologies and practices that allow the adaptation of the sector to climate change through:
The conception and field testing of systems for improving the management and use of water. The development of solutions to improve the quality, durability and biodiversity of pastures. The development of ICT tools to facilitate livestock management and decision-making. The identification, adaptation and dissemination of good practices that reinforce the environmental and socioeconomic sustainability of extensive models of livestock production. The training and education of the actors in the sector (farmers, experts, authorities and administrations, etc.) so that they can face these new challenges. The identification of regulatory barriers and the formulation of policy recommendations. The implementation of a participatory process involving all stakeholders in the actions of the project.
It is developed by a multidisciplinary consortium of Spanish entities: Spanish Federation of Dehesa producers (FEDEHESA), EntreTantos Foundation, Innogestiona Ambiental and PigCHAMP Pro Europa; Portugal: Associação de Defesa do Património de Mértola (ADPM), Associação Nacional de Conservação da Natureza (QUERCUS); and France: Institut de l’Elevage de France (IDELE); coordinated by the University of Córdoba (UCO) Department of Animal Production of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine.
Environmental innovative in the Life LiveAdapt project
Innogestiona Ambiental as a partner entity of the project, leads the development of prototypes for more efficient water management and participates in different activities related to the implementation of innovative environmental engineering techniques, the training of managers of extensive livestock farms, the development of a mobile application that facilitates decision-making on farms or the analysis of the environmental and socioeconomic impact of the project, as well as the design of innovative business models and active participation in the communication and dissemination tasks of the project.
Water management, key to innovation
Innogestiona Ambiental leads the prototyping of innovative techniques for the collection and accumulation of rainwater such as the smart cistern and shaded ponds. Both techniques favor the greater availability of quality water for livestock drinking and are currently being the subject of different qualitative and quantitative analyzes, which allow defining their real impact on improving water management.
Training against climate change
Training is one of the keys to adapting extensive livestock activity to the new socio-economic and environmental paradigm. Taking advantage of the versatility and potential of digital tools, Innogestiona Ambiental, with the coordination of the Entretantos Foundation, has participated in the design and review of the online course aimed at all actors in the sector. This training offers a comprehensive vision on the effects of climate change on extensive livestock farming, with good practices in the management of livestock, water, pastures, landscape and biodiversity, the introduction of digital technologies that facilitate these tasks, and new business models and product marketing that counteract the current challenges associated with the low profitability of the sector.
The analysis of the technologies applied to the agricultural and livestock activity shows the need for a specific approach in the case of extensive livestock farming due to the size of the land, the energy to power the electronic devices scattered around the farms or the maintenance costs. LiveSmart is an application developed with the coordination of Innogestiona Ambiental, which allows farmers and ranchers to upload data of interest for their exploitation (location, weather, vegetation, reproduction, etc.) through their mobile phones. This data is connected to an online repository and an online calendar that facilitate the daily management and the viability of extensive farms at a low cost, which is currently being piloted in 10 farms.LiveAdapt, a participatory socioeconomic model
Finally, Innogestiona Ambiental, analyzes the environmental and socioeconomic impact of the project from its start-up to the implementation of good practices, prototypes and innovative business models that arise through the different experiences and initiatives developed throughout the project, also participating in the dissemination and communication of the project results.