Southwire Canada – Raising cattle and selling dairy products can assist low-income agricultural households in Central America and Southeast Mexico put food on the table. The livestock economy also contributes to regional food security by providing sustenance to the most vulnerable people, particularly women, children, and the elderly.
However, raising dairy cows in the area is difficult. The dry season reduces milk output every year. And climate change is exacerbating the problem.
During droughts, vegetation dies, leaving cows with little to eat. They lose weight, have fewer calves, and have lower health, all while dairy demand stays steady.
Bayer recognized a chance to assist. What if dairy farmers planted corn when it was raining? They could save crushed corn plant material, known as silage, for the following dry season. They would no longer have to rely on grass. They could even be able to sell the extra harvest.
Continue to innovate.We must explore for alternatives rather than just sticking to the essentials. Silage is one of the options for enhancing livestock.
— Donaldo Polanco, Milk Producer|Cortés, Honduras
If this project was to succeed, the dairy farmers would require access to know-how and technology they had never had before. DKSilos corn is properly developed to thrive in the region and provide the nourishment dairy cows require to live healthy, productive lives. Following that, they required funding to purchase critical equipment and farming materials such as seed, fertilizer, and pest control.
For the past seven years, the initiative has reached over 40,000 farmers in Southeast Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, and the Dominican Republic. Adopting these measures also increases the average farmer’s annual income by $5,000 USD.
And those are only the human advantages. Corn silage is also enjoyed by healthy, well-fed animals. Cows are less ill and have higher pregnancy and birth rates.
Fighting hunger in poor and middle-income nations requires empowering smallholder farmers. That is why, at Bayer, we are reinventing our company to create customised solutions that will empower 100 million smallholder farmers by 2030.