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Opportunities and challenges for sheep production in the Yucat

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Title: Opportunities and challenges for sheep production in the Yucat


1
Opportunities and challenges for sheep production
in the Yucatán Peninsula
  • Proposal for a Baseline Study

2
Outline
  • Why sheep farming has emerged
  • Natural resource parameters
  • Current farming systems
  • Development of Baseline Survey
  • Observations
  • Research Questions

3
Location
4
Location
5
Background
  • Sisal production from henequén, the foundation of
    the Yucatán economy
  • Drop in demand post WWII, due to surplus
    production and synthetic fibres

6
Background
  • Industry collapse in 1992, after withdrawal of
    Government subsidies
  • Henequén zone left without employment

7
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8
Background
  • Hair sheep production has emerged as a growing
    industry in the former Henequén zone
  • Adept at conversion of fibrous biomass to meat
  • Excellent fertility
  • Low level of entry level capital investment
  • Market in Mexico City
  • Sheep production represents a significant
    development opportunity, particularly for the
    rural poor

9
Natural Resources
  • Climate
  • Soils
  • Vegetation

10
Climate
  • Tropical sub-humid
  • Dry rainy seasons
  • Average rainfall 800-1000mm
  • Hot
  • Rainfall distribution is variable on peninsula

11
Climate
  • Tropical sub-humid
  • Dry rainy seasons
  • Average rainfall 800-1000mm
  • Hot
  • Rainfall distribution is variable on peninsula

12
Climate
  • Tropical sub-humid
  • Dry rainy seasons
  • Average rainfall 800-1000mm
  • Hot
  • Rainfall distribution is variable on peninsula

13
Climate
  • Tropical sub-humid
  • Dry rainy seasons
  • Average rainfall 800-1000mm
  • Hot
  • Rainfall distribution is variable on peninsula

14
Soils
  • Soils formed on Tertiary limestone, flat terrain
  • Shallow and stony, limited cultivation

15
Soils
  • Alkaline, limited in phosphorus, manganese, iron,
    zinc
  • Low water holding capacity

16
Vegetation
  • Vegetation distribution dependent on rainfall

17
Vegetation
  • Low-stature tropical dry forests (dry season)
  • Increasing secondary forests due to abandonment
    of henequen fields

18
Vegetation
  • Dominated by leguminosae

19
Vegetation
  • Conversion of forest to grassland in the Southern
    and Eastern regions of Yucatan State

20
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21
Farming Systems
  • Traditional agriculture (Milpa)
  • Home Gardens
  • Plantations
  • Livestock

22
Milpa
  • Maize mixed with squash and beans
  • Slash and burn, 0.5 to 2.5 ha
  • 2-3 year cultivation, with 10-20 year fallow
  • Weeds and pests controlled manually

23
Characteristics of the Survey
  • June July 2004
  • Sheep producers and non sheep producers
  • Random sample
  • Beta-test on initial farms
  • 5 study objectives

24
Study Objectives
  • Status of production systems
  • Evaluation of dietary potentials with relation to
    sheep nutrition
  • Production potentials of existing animals
  • Infrastructure and equipment
  • Information and technology transfer
  • Observations
  • Research Questions

25
1 - Status of production systems Observations
  • 2 main sheep production systems
  • Smallholders
  • Limited resources
  • Utilize natural vegetation
  • Larger producers

26
1 - Status of production systems Observations
  • 2 main sheep production systems
  • Smallholders
  • Larger producers
  • Rely more on planted forages and/or supplements

27
1 - Status of production systems Research
Questions
  • What are the components of smallholder household
    incomes?
  • What are the defining characteristics of the two
    main sheep production systems?
  • Are there two main and distinct production
    systems able to be demarcated?
  • What are typical characteristics of the producer
    households in both production systems?
  • How is the available land utilized within
    production systems?

28
2 - Evaluation of dietary potentials with
relation to sheep nutrition Observations
  • Feeding sheep during dry season

29
2 - Evaluation of dietary potentials with
relation to sheep nutrition Observations
  • Crop residues e.g. Maize, citrus
  • Need for protein supplementation
  • Under-utilization of tree legumes

30
2 - Evaluation of dietary potentials with
relation to sheep nutrition Research Questions
  • How is available land used?
  • How do soil nutritional characteristics vary
    between farm and land use?
  • Upon what principles are stock movements based?
  • How long do animals spend grazing per day?
  • What species of forages are planted, and in what
    quantities?
  • What agronomic practices are used for management
    of forages?
  • Which tree species are recognised as valuable
    browse plants and utilized by farmers?
  • What are the nutritional qualities of the
    available forages and browse species?
  • What supplements are used, and at what rates for
    the different classes of stock?
  • What degree of integration is there between
    livestock and cropping?

31
3 - Production potentials of existing animals
Observations
  • Common breeds include Pelibuey, Dorper,
    Blackbelly, Catadín
  • All developed for hardiness, fertility

32
3 - Production potentials of existing animals
Observations
  • Dorpers the new fashion
  • Dorper and crosses appear more common with larger
    producers

33
3 - Production potentials of existing animals
Research Questions
  • How does flock composition vary in terms of
    numbers, breeds and classes of animal?
  • How do producers divide their animals into
    management groups?
  • What constraints may influence this decision?
  • What are producers breeding objectives,
    including desired breed composition and animal
    selection criteria?
  • What quantities of animals are being sold, to
    what markets, and for what price?
  • What are the reproductive data
  • What are the most important animal health issues
    and what veterinary products are used?

34
4 - Infrastructure and equipment Observations
  • Some Government investment in infrastructure
  • Appears limiting for smallholders
  • Lack of fences and watering facilities
  • Labour a substitute for infrastructure
  • Difficulty in maintaining management groups

35
4 - Infrastructure and equipment Observations
  • Potential for irrigation

36
4 - Infrastructure and equipment Research
Questions
  • What infrastructure is available and what is
    lacking?
  • How does ownership of infrastructure vary between
    producers and production systems?
  • How has investment in infrastructure been funded?
  • What is the status of internal and external
    fencing?
  • What is the degree of subdivision of the holding
    pens?
  • Is the level of infrastructure, such as fencing
    and holding pens, limiting the appropriate
    formation of management groups?
  • What type of irrigation equipment is currently
    used?

37
5 - Information and technology transfer
Observations
  • Coffee shop extension
  • Doesnt appear to be many extension programmes in
    place
  • Probably favour larger producers who actively
    seek information

38
5 - Information and technology transfer Research
Questions
  • How frequently are producers receiving technical
    assistance?
  • Which organizations are providing technical
    assistance?
  • What other sources are farmers getting
    information from?
  • What is the typical price for technical
    assistance?
  • What type of information is being provided, and
    what information is desired by producers?
  • What is the level of penetration of livestock
    associations and producer groups?

39
Conclusions
  • Some limitations may seem obvious
  • However limitations interact
  • Need systems solution for a systems problem
  • Baseline survey
  • Influence research directions
  • Generate additional questions
  • Growing interest in sheep farming
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