Agricultural innovation for the development of low-emissions cattle value chains in Latin America

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This project aims to incentivize the accelerated and sustainable implementation of promising innovations and best-fit practices by VC actors of the livestock sector. Photo credit: José Luis Urrea (CCAFS - CIAT)
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Project description

Latin America has the potential to be at the forefront of transformation in livestock sector towards more productive and sustainable cattle value chains (VC) through cattle breeds fed on high-quality forages and kept in good health. This production alternative will result in higher market value due to the high appreciation of products developed with low emissions.

Low-emitting technologies and management practices for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to maximize cattle productivity and cattle VC performance are commonly known, as could be identified by previous projects like LivestockPlus. However, it’s necessary to proactively adopt better known, profitable, and best-fit mitigation options.

That’s why this project is working hand in hand with the Latin America Mitigation Network (LAMNET) to bring multi-disciplinary livestock and non-livestock stakeholders together and strengthen South-South collaboration among VC actors in target countries: Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Peru, and Nicaragua.

This way we are overcoming the different knowledge, technical, institutional and financial barriers that prevent improvement in VCs, and build on technical and research capacities to identify, develop, implement and evaluate cost-effective approaches to improve cattle VC performance and stimulate the necessary behavioral changes.

Working with LAMNET, our goal is to foster creative low-emissions business models, feasible monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) approaches public-private partnerships and alliances, and the development of mechanisms (i.e., finance schemes) that incentivize the accelerated and sustainable implementation of promising innovations and best-fit practices by VC actors. However, to get to know the decision criteria in the adoption of practices to increase cattle productivity while reducing GHG emissions, we are researching life cycle analysis (LCA); food loss and waste reduction and utilization as alternative cattle feed options; and human behavioral science. 


The platform aims to produce the following deliverables and outputs:

  • This effort builds on the LivestockPlus project, which ended in 2018.
  • Peer-reviewed article: Priorities for low-carbon VC development defined with actors and strategies planned, based on previously identified barriers.
  • Peer-reviewed article: Technological, management and institutional innovations that support sustainable and inclusive VCs.
  • Business and investment cases will be documented in economic and policy briefs and promoted for technological, management and institutional innovations through mass media.
  • Peer-reviewed article: Existing and new market opportunities for cattle farmers from the target countries and for VC actors identified and promoted.
  • Strategies that allow taking innovations to scale developed with all VC actors and documented in policy briefs and Info Notes.
  • Reports on research conducted by early career researchers (graduate students through links with the CLIFF-GRAD network) and technical capacities raised among VC actors through links with national partners, considering gender and social inclusion aspects in particular.
  • Creative traditional and non-traditional (i.e., photography, videos) communication products.
  • Reports of regional workshops and other knowledge sharing events.


Desired effects and goals of the outputs listed above:

  • This effort builds on the LivestockPlus project, which ended in 2018.
  • At least five agricultural Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMA)/climate finance proposals.
  • Guidance on more efficient management options with mitigation co-benefits
  • Stakeholders use improved emissions data and tools.
  • 6–8 countries trained in scenarios analysis for low emissions development (LED) planning and MRV methodologies.
  • Revised targets and NDCs for agricultural mitigation.
  • Methods for MRV of agricultural emission reductions developed.
  • Improved capacity of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), NAMA and LED focal points & policy implementers to measure and monitor mitigation.
  • NAMA or LED investment proposals for 6–8 countries include gender considerations
  • Ten countries have used tools, analysis, business models and MRV methodologies to develop LED plans with mitigation potential.
  • Analysis of lessons learned from trials for best practices to support scaling up of LED options in agri-food sectors.


More information

For more information pleace contact the project co-leaders:
Jacobo Arango: 
Ngonidzashe Chirinda: