Three experts provided by the DairyCaB partners Wageningen Livestock Research and Barenbrug-Agriseeds contributed to the Lactividad Seminars ‘Establecimiento y Conservación de Forrajes para una producción eficiente de Leche’ in Bogota and Medellin May 25 and 26. The seminars with over 500 attendees, were jointly organized and facilitated by the DairyCaB partners Saenz Fety and the University of Antioquia. Most attendees were farmers and people interested in the Colombian dairy sector. Among the others were Lactividad members, several other companies involved in dairy farming, universities, and the press.
Networking for Colombian dairy sector development
During breaks the attendees were able to visit a commercial exhibition of products and technologies needed to increase the sector’s productivity. Lactividad is a network of Colombian companies providing material and service to the dairy sector. Lactividad, together with DairyCab is entitled to bring new technology and knowledge to Colombia in its yearly seminar. This is to ensure that the sector develops in the correct direction taking into account all the experience that can be found overseas.
The seminars and farm visits provided excellent opportunities for people from the different companies and knowledge institutes to meet and build their network, exchange knowledge and experience; and explore areas of cooperation and inspiration.
Graham Kerr (Barenbrug-Agriseeds) from New Zealand presented his experience with the cultivation and management of kikuyu and rye grass: how to create good germination conditions, and at what stages to graze or cut to facilitate the optimal growth and fodder quality. Several aspects of the mechanisation for fodder production and conservation under different conditions were exposed by Gjalt de Haan (Wageningen Livestock Research / De Haan Loonbedrijf BV). Wim Houwers, (Wageningen Livestock Research), DairyCaB project leader, explained important triggers in the Dutch dairy development during recent history and the topics to be demonstrated in the DairyCaB project. He also made a comparison of Dutch dairy farming 40 years ago and nowadays in which he pointed at the current status of Colombia and its huge potential for the future.
First DairyCAB project seeds sown
The first DairyCaB investments on grassland improvement on steep hills are done at the Demonstration Farm La Gabiota. The cultivation and management of pastures with kikuyu, and pastures with a mixture of ryegrass and kikuyu is demonstrated on the rather steep hills in East Antioquia.