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Greenhouse gas emissions estimated for cattle ranches in Chiapas, Mexico

  • Master's student at UNACH was able to estimate with livestock producers, who participate in the BioPaSOS project, the greenhouse gas emissions on their ranches

January 29, 2020. As part of the research agenda of the project Biodiversity and Sustainable Agrosilvopastoral Landscapes, known as BioPaSOS, which is implemented by CATIE (Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center), it was possible to estimate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, with different levels of intensification, present in cattle ranches of producers in Chiapas, Mexico.

The estimate was made through the thesis work of Olivia Adilene Hernández, student of the Master of Science in Tropical Agricultural Production of the Faculty of Agronomic Sciences of the Autonomous University of Chiapas (UNACH).

Hernández said she worked with 30 producers from La Sepultura Biosphere Reserve (REBISE) of the Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP), belonging to the municipalities of Villaflores, Jiquipilas, Arriaga and Tonalá, which were distributed into three groups according to the level of soil intensification, using the categories of intensive, semi-intensive and extensive.

Through the research it was determined that the level of annual GHG emissions is mainly influenced by the number of animals, the type of feeding and the management of the animals in the grazing areas. In addition, it was found that of the total CO2eq emissions 55 to 58% correspond to methane from enteric fermentation, which indicates that there is an area of opportunity to achieve a reduction in methane produced through enteric fermentation with better feeding practices, such as the use of fodder trees, tree fruits, among others.

Similarly, Hernández identified how the implementation of the biodigester on cattle ranches can contribute to reducing GHG emissions. In this sense, it was found that through a 2m3 biodigester, 0.8 m3 of gas can be produced, which is equivalent to 1.5 hours of cooking with gas and a production of 80 liters of biol per day, which can be used to fertilize pastures and/or agricultural crops. In the same way, regarding gas production, it was estimated that the producer will stop consuming more than 300 kg of firewood per year when using this technology.

"It is important to mention that this research comes to strengthen the collaborative work that is being done as part of the research agenda of the BioPaSOS project, in which different academic and research institutions in Chiapas participate," said José Antonio Jiménez, local coordinator of the project in that Mexican state.

On this occasion, Hernandez's research was directed by Luis Fernando Molina Paniagua, a collaborator of the Academic Body in Livestock Agroforestry of the Faculty of Agronomic Sciences of the UNACH.

Jiménez explained that the information generated in this research will be very useful for the BioPaSOS project to have a reference of which are the GHGs that are emitted and the amount of emissions that are made in cattle ranches, as well as to design what could be the strategies to reduce the emissions in cattle ranches.

The BioPaSOS project is being implemented with the support of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), in coordination with the National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (CONABIO, its Spanish acronym ) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (SADER, its Spanish acronym), with funding from the International Climate Initiative (IKI) and with multiple local partners in their areas of intervention.


More information:

José Antonio Jiménez
Local Coordinator in Chiapas
Biodiversity and Sustainable Agrosilvopastoral  Landscapes (BioPaSOS)
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Written by:

Karla Salazar Leiva
Information Technology and Communication
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