Improve the training of farmers in the conservation of the diversity of the pastoral landscapes of the peninsula, recover soils and pastures and increase the economic profitability of their agricultural holdings. These are the objectives of the GRASS Supraautonomic Operative Group for the certification of pasture restoration that generate sustainability services through holistic management, which is a grazing system for the management of animals for land management, soil recovery and against desertification.

TAGUS, the local action group of the Tajo-Salor-Almonte region, leads this operational group, which also includes the Global Nature Foundation, ACTYVA sociedad cooperativa-PASTO.RE, the Cooprado cooperative, Fedehesa, the Bedarbide Cattlemen’s Association , Ovipor SCA and Cooperativas Agro-alimentarias Extremadura.

The project arises from the increased awareness on the part of consumers in the form of production of meat and dairy products, which increasingly demand healthy products that respect standards of animal welfare and environmental conservation. Added to this is the fact that extensive livestock farming based on innovative agricultural practices that restore soils and ecological processes can be an opportunity to reverse the processes of degradation of the natural environment and increase the yields of agricultural operations.

This operational group is currently in the creation phase, with a proposal for assistance through the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (FEADER) and the National Program for Rural Development 2014-20. Thus, this group is working intensively on the development of a proposal to carry out, in a next phase, various actions that improve the sustainable management of pastures and the biodiversity of the ecosystems on which extensive livestock farming is based.

In this way, through Go GRASS, pilot actions based on the holistic management approach will be developed to improve the profitability of the areas through the regeneration of pastures achieving biologically more active soils with a minimum level of inputs. To this will be added another final objective, such as making a diagnosis of the context of the systems of permanent mountain pastures and the southwest of the Iberian peninsula (dehesa), its study of application and monitoring.

This operational group, which has a marked interdisciplinary nature, will act on a broad scenario that will result in a road map and projects that allow the application of a more sustainable management of pastures and the biodiversity of the ecosystems on which it sits. at present the extensive cattle ranch.

In this way, the challenge of Go GRASS is to certify the restoration of grasslands, the result of the introduction of innovative farming practices and adapted technological solutions that improve the sustainability of farms with auditable results, also considering creating a digital interface for product tracking from the field to the table.

The final users of this project are the farmers of the affected sectors, mainly owners of farms with high impact in their territories, who will be trained to practice innovations in farm management. In this sense, the supra-autonomous nature is supported by the participation in the project of cooperatives of different communities and a group of producer associations in the pasture of several regions, which integrate several thousand associates.

They are in particular the cooperative Cooprado, of Casar de Cáceres, dedicated to the production of milk; Ovipor, an Huelva cooperative of extensive livestock farming; the Bedarbide Cattlemen’s Association, as the spearhead of the groups of cattle owners of communal and private pastures of the Euskadi and Navarra mountains; and Fedehesa, which works for the professionalization of the owners and managers of dehesas to ensure survival as a result of the regeneration of the trees and the increase in profitability of the farms.

Via | Agro Alimentaria.