Thursday, November 13, 2014

Nicaragua's Beef Industry Seeks to Increase Competitiveness

F2F volunteer, Doussou Traore,  with a CONAGAN representative
Although Nicaragua has the greatest potential for livestock production in Latin America, the creation of value-added products is one of the lowest. This lack of added value reduces domestic and international competitiveness of the dairy and beef sector and limits the generation of employment and foreign currency. Furthermore, reduced incentives to implement sustainable, environmentally-conscious production methods have limited the ability of the livestock industry to penetrate more competitive niche markets with higher purchasing power. 

Traore meets with  CANICARNE and CONAGAN representatives
To support the Nicaraguan livestock industry in increasing their competitiveness and access to niche markets, Partners' F2F program is providing technical assistance to dairy and beef farmers in marketing and good agricultural practices. This month, F2F volunteer Ms. Doussou Traore traveled to Nicaragua to work with the Nicaraguan Chamber of Beef Industry Exports (CANICARNE) and the National Cattleman’s Commission of Nicaragua (CONAGAN) to conduct an assessment on the beef supply chain. 

Ms. Traore visits a slaughterhouse in Tipitapa
Her initial assessment included an analysis of the production, growth, feed, and slaughter of cattle.  She also analyzed and proposed incentives to improve the quality and competitiveness of beef production. Ultimately, a better understanding of the different actors and price incentives along the value chain will provide insight into the willingness and ability of the beef industry to increase their competitiveness (breeding, shorter cattle life cycle, and improved feeding practices); and thereby the per unit prices of beef.

Upon concluding her trip, Ms. Traore recommended that a cost production study be undertaken to inform the process of improving productivity and competitiveness. She described this is as being especially important for export markets, since they are the primary source of demand. Among other recommendations, Ms. Traore encouraged CANICARNE and CONAGAN to set up an inter-professional platform for all supply chain participants to promote transparency, concerted decision-making, and profit sharing within the industry.  

To follow up on these recommendations, marketing expert, Daniel Shaneyfelt, arrived to Nicaragua this week.  F2F looks forward to the continued growth and accomplishments of its hosts and to the contributions of volunteers like Ms. Traore!

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