ACADEMICS PRESENTED INNOVATIVE FOOD FOR RUMINANTS

THE SOLUTION, WHICH HAS DIRECT BENEFITS FOR LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS AND AGRIBUSINESS FIRMS, WAS PRESENTED AT AN INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR.



Decembre 2, 2016

A food supplement that benefits sheep and goats producers from the Maule Region, and helps reduce the tons of waste some of the agro-industrial companies in the area produce, was introduced by academics from the Institute of Chemistry of Natural Resources and from the Department of Engineering at an international seminar held at the Curicó Campus.
 
This was the closing activity of the initiative entitled "Development of Low-Cost Food Staple for Ruminants from Waste and Agroindustrial Byproducts for Livestock Producers of the Maule Region ", which was launched in 2015 with funding from the Innovation Fund for Competitiveness of the Regional Government (FIC-R).
 
Professor Antón Garcia, from the University of Cordova in Spain, and also Spanish professional Miguel Angel Ramirez, from the bioengineering company ZoitechLab, dedicated to animal reproduction in species of interest, biosolutions to agro-industrial waste treatment and management of the forest heritage, participated as speakers. Javier Melgarejo, industrial counselor for the Aspero Company that transforms agroindustrial byproducts into food for animals also intervened.
 
The experts agreed that the use of waste from the agro-industry is the way to supplement the diet of this type of animals and to advance in the relationship between the various stakeholders involved.
 
The seminar was attended by more than 120 livestock producers from Parral, Cauquenes, Retiro and Rauco, among other places, which are in addition to the other 250 farmers who knew of the initiative through field days carried out by the project.
 
 Giving Value
 
The director of the initiative, Diogenes Hernández, explained that one of the reasons for the project was to find alternatives to give value to the Agroindustrial waste, which in Chile annually reach more than 1.5 million tons, of which 45% is concentrated in the Maule Region.
 
 
"We studied the qualities of several waste and generate a low-cost food staple, which improves the diet of sheep and goats, especially in times of shortage of pasture and that it also has a very low value for producers," Hernandez said.
 
In the formula, residues from olive oil production (pulp), form processing of apples (pomasa) and corn and the milling wheat were used, among others, which are mixed in specific quantities and are administered to ruminants as a complement to the grass from the prairies. Together with this food, two other derivatives of the initial mixture were developed, a pelletization one and a fermented one, with a higher protein percentage.
 
 Benefits
 
The food was tested in about 50 four-month-old lambs and goats in the two experimental farms of the project. "The formula fulfilled its feeding role, allowed the prairies to be kept in good conditions and that the mother sheep and goats had more time to recover before the next mating and calving, which entails having new generations of good weight and quality," said Hernández.
 
 
The supplement, which can replace the grass bales that are purchased in times of water scarcity, has better feeding quality and lower processing cost, which is a direct benefit for the economy of the producers.
 
"We touch a crucial topic in animal production, as food is between 60 to 70 per cent of the cost of production of the business, then if it is possible to reduce the amounts, it means a great benefit," said Carlos Krauss, professional from Prodesal, in Rauco County.
 
 
 Victor Cespedes, producer from Hualañé County, commented that it will serve as support in complex moments. "We are in a sector where we depend on the rain, and when there is drought we have to buy the food for the animals. If this is cheaper and it works, then it is fantastic," he said.
 
 
In this regard, Diogenes Hernández stated that the livestock of the dry land have a new alternative to improve your productivity. "We develop a viable methodology, which includes information about the location of the waste and we create a manual which can be downloaded from the site www.alimentorumiantes.cl", he said.
 
Doris Vergara, executive from the Transfers Unit of the Regional Government, stressed the importance of presenting alternatives to producers so that they can reduce their production costs. "This was achieved very well with the results of the project, now the next step is to reach a massive deployment, which must be done through a link between the various stakeholders and institutions," he said.
 
For his part, Antón Garcia said that the connection between the producers and the university is essential, and he also emphasized the participation of a large number of women who attended the seminar, "as we could observe that they want to continue in this path, searching alternatives to improve their productions," he said.



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