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Sustainable Livestock Production, Health, and Environment in the Bolivian Altiplano

This project aims to promote evidence-based policies for improving livestock production, environmental sustainability, and health in the Bolivian Altiplano's rural communities. Traditional farming under threat in Bolivia Raising sheep and llamas is a fundamental economic activity that is threatened by current agricultural practices in the high plateau. An increasing dependence on sheep farming is resulting in overgrazing and excessive pressure on native pastures. These practices are accelerating the destruction of the natural soil cover, compromising livestock production and local livelihoods in the long-term. Llamas are risking local livestock health Llama production can provide food protein, hide, fibre, and transport. Without interfering with sheep grazing, it reduces pressures on fragile highland ecosystems. The Ministry of Rural Development launched a national program to support the development of the llama sector, contribute to local economies, and ensure sustainable livestock practices. However, animal disease, including the high prevalence of sarcocystosis in llamas, is limiting the program's potential. Local farmers are abandoning the traditional mixed llama-sheep production. Evaluating risks and options The project will address important knowledge gaps associated with local livestock health and public health, including the burden of parasitic diseases in livestock and human exposure to pathogens associated with both types of animals. The research team will develop a dynamic model to illustrate interrelationships and trade-offs of different mixed sheep and llama livestock production scenarios. This will help facilitate discussions between researchers, policymakers, and local stakeholders on policy options and regulations for: -improving livestock production, animal, and human health; -supporting local economic growth; and -ensuring the sustainability of native pastures. Partnerships for progress The project was developed through a multi-actor partnership that includes strong engagement from municipal and departmental decision-makers, including the Animal Health, Public Health, and Protected Areas of the Ministries of Rural Development, Health, and Environment. This approach will help ensure alignment of research and policy. A key intended outcome is to translate existing national policies into locally adapted laws and multi-sector programs, with the longer-term goal of replication elsewhere in Bolivia. This will help foster local production of animal-derived food in environmentally sustainable ways. It will also promote public health in the Altiplano's vulnerable populations. Projet de recherche

Project ID
Project Status
End Date
42 months
IDRC Officer
Roberto Bazzani
Total Funding
CA$ 1,285,000.00
Institution Country
Project Leader
Roberto Cabrera
Protección del Medio Ambiente Tarija


Producción ganadera sostenible, salud y medio ambiente en la altiplano sur de Bolivia

Producción ganadera sostenible, salud y medio ambiente en la altiplano sur de Bolivia



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Language: Spanish