This video sees Mr Luis Felipe talking to us about how Costa Rica looks after their livestock and different agricultural techniques that are used. Mr Luis tells us about how he addresses the three major issues of mitigation, irrigation and adaptation/productivity.
Mr Luis ensures us that he wants to make the system more efficient and eventually move to the use of organic products. The minister of agriculture tells us about they are trying to introduce trees within the coffee system and within the livestock systems. He notes that trees ability to fix carbon is one that can be of great use. He adds that by incorporating trees into cropping systems he is increasing productivity.
Tree-based intercropping, growing trees together with crops is a historical agricultural practice. These days primarily smallholder farmers use it in tropical systems, but researchers are focused on potential applications in the temperate soils of southern Ontario and Quebec.
Mr Luis mentions how he uses precision irrigation to produce water needs and also to reduce nitrogen leaking and production of greenhouse gasses by nitrogen fertilizer. Moreover Mr Luis tells us how in his country, they are increasing the organic matter in the soil so that it can cut the carbon and is a more efficient way of applying nitrogen without losses of nitro oxide. He adds that in Costa Rica they are adding bio-digesters in the farm to produce fuel to avoid methane production from animal waste and produce heat from electricity in the farm. Moreover they are using organic produce like compost to reduce pesticides and move towards a more organic method of farming.
Mr Luis tells us how in Costa Rica they have noticed that animals fed on grass instead of grain produce less methane and they are giving them as much space as possible to roam freely in an organic method. He mentions that they are managing the grain systems with carb fodder to reduce the need for concentrates and so are using more free-range cattle production however the chickens are still confined to small spaces. Mr Luis diligently admits that there is still work to be done with regards to farming of chickens and he says that he is working on that.
In conclusion Mr Luis tells us that we can reverse the nitrogen production rate by putting salts into the system. Moreover he notes that in organic systems you can use organic matter to fertilise and it seems like he really notices and appreciates the various use of organic agriculture. A former professor of agriculture Mr Luis is very informed and he is leading the way for Costa Rica in to a more conscientious future of agriculture for Costa Rica.
Links: https://www.topcropmanager.com/other-crops/benefits-from-tree-based-intercropping-20026 , https://www.hobbyfarms.com/about-organic-chicken-farms-3/ , http://blog.rootcapital.org/back-roads-to-boardrooms/organic-agriculture-costa-rica-better-future-farmers
By Alex Mitchison