Silvopastoral production system in the Argentinian Chaco: Smallholders’ motivations for adoption and policy insights

Tschopp, Maurice Nicolas; Ceddia, Michele Graziano; Bardsley, Nick; Inguaggiato, Carla (2019). Silvopastoral production system in the Argentinian Chaco: Smallholders’ motivations for adoption and policy insights. In: 4th World Congress on Agroforestry. Montpellier, France. 23 May 2019.

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Cattle production is a central livelihood for smallholders in the Argentinian Chaco. Smallscale “criollo” farmers oftentimes live in settlements in the middle of the forest. However, the Chaco forests and related ecosystems are under high pressure. The Argentinian Chaco currently experiences very high deforestation rates. This process has been driven mostly by the expansion of the agricultural frontiers, in particular for soy, as well by large-scale cattle ranchers [1]. Among the two main user groups of native forest, we find indigenous people, as well as small-scale “criollo” farmers. These smallholders raise cattle, mostly with management practices known as “campo abierto”, a system under which cattle roam freely in the forest and feed from natural vegetation (trees, shrubs and rare natural pastures). In order to secure higher income for farmers, as well as to reduce pressure on forests, recent and private initiatives have developed silvopastoral production systems for smallholders. Most of these systems involve felling shrubs (either with tractor rollers or manually) and introducing new grass species (gaton panic, buffalo grass, etc.). These pastures provide forage during the dry season and thus contribute to reduced pressure on forests during this sensitive period, although this comes with important costs associated with preparation of land and fences. This article examines the current introduction of silvopastoral production systems in the Chaco salteño and their adoption by smallholders. We will present results from a survey conducted in August 2018 of 552 small-scale cattle rangers from the departments of Rivadavia and San Martin, Salta, Argentina. We will focus especially on the stated motivations of smallholders adopting these practices. This information will be combined with socio-economic profiles of the households (i.e. subsistence versus entrepreneurial farmers). We also examine diffusion channels of silvopastoral practices (networks and institutions involved). The article concludes with some policy implications for silvopastoral development in the Argentinian Chaco in the context of acute deforestation.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Abstract)


10 Strategic Research Centers > Centre for Development and Environment (CDE)

UniBE Contributor:

Tschopp, Maurice Nicolas; Ceddia, Michele Graziano and Inguaggiato, Carla


[1088] Indigenous Communities, Lans USe and Tropical Deforestation
[805] Sustainability Governance
[804] Socio-Economic Transition




Stephan Schmidt

Date Deposited:

29 Aug 2019 16:31

Last Modified:

29 Oct 2019 16:19

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Uncontrolled Keywords:

Silvopastoral production, technology adoption, Chaco Salteño




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