Central and South America

The 2014 global assessment covered 13 American countries.

  1. Mexico*;
  2. Guatemala;
  3. Honduras;
  4. El Salvador;
  5. Nicaragua;
  6. Costa Rica;
  7. Panama;
  8. Colombia;
  9. Ecuador;
  10. Peru;
  11. Brazil;
  12. Chile;
  13. Argentina.

* Mexico, although part of North America, is included because of its Hispanic roots and similarities with other Central American countries.

Mexico

Manure Policy

Mexico has MP on the national level. The policy is not independent, but rather forms part of laws, policies, and programs defined by the Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries, and Food and the Secretariat of the Environment and Natural Resources. The policies include regulations that affect manure treatment and disposal, as well as national laws and programs that aim to lower greenhouse gas emissions, promote bioenergy and other renewables, and lower producer energy costs. While the different manure policies are not reported to be contradictory, they are described as very weak in terms of stimulating good practices and implementing restrictive regulations, as well as clearly defining the consequences of noncompliance. There is no enforcement body for the manure policies.

Enabling Environment

The services available to farmers in Mexico are limited to government subsidies, which are generally used by small and medium-size farms only. The Secretariats do use these subsidies to stimulate improvements in IMM among farmers. Knowledge about IMM enters into the education system only at the university level, and is somewhat present in professional training courses. While government extensionists are reported to be sufficiently knowledgeable about IMM, non-government extensionists, local teachers, and farmers (especially small-scale) are not. The Secretariat of Agriculture’s Trust for Shared Risk (FIRCO) is currently operating a joint project with the World Bank that aims to increase renewable energy use and lower energy costs to farmers by promoting anaerobic digestion. The Secretariat of Agriculture also runs the Bio-economy Project, which incentivizes the production of bio-fertilizers and organic compost, the Project in Support of Added-Value for Agribusinesses via Shared Risk Schemes (PROVAR), which grants up to 1 million pesos per producer for the construction of bio-digesters, and the Livestock and Environment Program, which aims to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from the livestock sector. The US Environmental Protection Agency has also awarded grants to the Mexican government for the installation of bio-digesters in the agriculture sector.

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Guatemala...

Manure Policy

Guatemala’s manure policies form parts of regulations and guidelines that affect manure storage and disposal. The manure policies are defined by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Food, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, and the Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance. They are reported to be lacking in clearly defined penalties for noncompliance, and while each ministry has its own enforcement body, both the enforcement and the coordination between the Ministries is described as weak. The government provides extension services to farmers, but overall stimulation of good practices is described as very weak.

Enabling Environment

Services available to farmers in Guatemala include extension from both the government and non-governmental organizations, analysis from national laboratories, and large farm-equipment (used by farms of all sizes). Television is reportedly used across all farm sizes, while only medium-size and large farms take advantage of journals, magazines, and social media. However, no incentives are currently used to encourage farmers to improve IMM. In schools, knowledge about MM begins at the secondary level and is substantial through to university, but is less incorporated into professional training courses. Of farm personnel and extensionists, only non-governmental extensionists and local teachers are described as having sufficient knowledge about IMM, while government extensionists, farm personnel, and producers (especially small-scale) are not. The US Agency for International Development has funded projects on climate change mitigation and adaptation in agriculture, and the Inter-American Development Bank has approved a poultry production project that includes MM capacity building to produce organic fertilizer.

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Honduras

Manure Policy

Honduras does not have any MP. As Honduran livestock farms are mostly pastoral, there may not be a perceived need for MM that emphasizes manure collection, storage, and treatment. However, there are university programs that are currently producing research on the benefits of utilizing manure as fertilizer in pastures, and working with a few farms on this topic.

Enabling Environment

Farms of all sizes in Honduras take advantage of government and non-governmental credit, non-governmental credit guarantees, and technical assistance. While national laboratories offer analysis services, they are not utilized. There are currently no incentives that stimulate improvements in IMM among producers, but both non-governmental organizations and agricultural processors and traders provide credit, capacity training, and assistance accessing inputs and markets aimed at increasing farmer productivity, which can have benefits for MM. While knowledge about IMM is most present in universities and professional training courses, no category of producers, extensionists, or teachers is characterized as having sufficient knowledge of the topic. With funding from the United States Department of State leveraged by the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA), two Honduran coffee organizations are currently implementing a project on energy from biogas using waste from coffee production in partnership with the Netherlands Development Organization (SNV) and a private Costa Rican company called VIOGAZ. This partnership could broaden the scope of the project to livestock farms.

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El Salvador

Manure Policy

El Salvador does not have any MP. However, El Salvador has long used animal excrement to fertilize coffee, which constitutes most of the country’s agricultural sector. Manure from pig and poultry farms is currently being used in organic crop production, and some of the larger livestock and poultry farms have bio-digesters, the effluent of which they use in crop production.

Enabling Environment

The services available to producers in El Salvador include professional training, non-governmental extension, and analysis by national laboratories, which are used by farms of all sizes. Services providing large farm-equipment are available but only taken advantage of by large farms. Television, journals, magazines, and social media are used by all farm sizes. However, there are currently no incentives that encourage farmers to improve IMM. School curricula include knowledge about IMM only at the primary and secondary level, and minimally so. Only large and medium-size farms and extensionists are described as having sufficient knowledge about IMM.

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Nicaragua

Manure Policy

Nicaragua has national-level MP defined by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, and the Ministry of Energy and Mining. The manure policies are not independent, but rather form parts of other policies. These include regulations that affect manure treatment and the excretion of nutrients, as well as national plans, strategies and programs that aim to promote development, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and the diversification of energy sources via biogas production. While the manure policies are not characterized as being contradictory, they are described as weak in terms of stimulating good practices and implementing restrictive regulations, as well as clearly defining the consequences of noncompliance. Although each ministry has its own enforcement body, both the enforcement and the coordination between the ministries for these policies are described as weak.

Enabling Environment

In Nicaragua, there are currently no incentives used to stimulate improvements in IMM. Knowledge about IMM enters school curricula at the secondary level and is most present in universities. While local teachers and both government and non-government extensionists are described as having sufficient knowledge of IMM, none of the farms are, especially at the smaller scale. Nicaragua is the only Central American member of the Global Methane Initiative, and in 2013 began implementing a five-year National Biogas Program in partnership with Hivos and the Netherlands Development Organization (SNV), funded by the Inter-American Development Bank and the Nordic Development Fund.

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Rica

Manure Policy

Costa Rica has MP on the national level that forms part of policies defined by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, the Ministry of the Environment, Energy, and Telecommunications, and the Ministry of Health. The policies address manure storage, treatment, application, and disposal, and the 2012 National Action Plan for Climate Change includes annual targets and budgets both for reducing methane and nitrous oxide emissions from the livestock sector and increasing the use of emission-reducing technologies by 2021. The policies are characterized as contradictory, and are also described as weak in terms of imposing restrictions with clearly defined sanctions, as well as in terms of stimulating good practices. Both enforcement and coordination between the ministries are characterized as weak. Over the past two decades, health and environmental regulations for pig manure have increased in number and in complexity and while there is a decree specifically authorizing the use of cattle manure to improve soil conditions, no such authorization exists for pig manure.

Enabling Environment

Costa Rican farms have access to non-governmental credit, extension, technical assistance, large farm equipment, and analysis from national laboratories. Farms of all sizes take advantage of these services, several of which are used to incentivize improvements in IMM. Only large farms take advantage of social media, while farms of all sizes use television, journals, and magazines. IMM is incorporated into school curricula at all levels, and is most present in agricultural universities. Extensionists and local teachers are characterized as having sufficient knowledge about IMM, while farms of all sizes are not. Over the past decade, the Alliance for Energy and Environment (AEA) of the Central American Integration System (SICA) has funnelled European Union funding into the installation of large-scale bio-digesters on livestock farms with free technical assistance from the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE). Two local biogas companies, VIOGAZ and Biosinergia, are also active in bio-digester construction in Costa Rica and some neighbouring countries.

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Panama

Manure Policy

Panama has MP on the local level, defined by the Ministry of Agricultural Development, the National Authority of the Environment, the National Secretariat of Energy, and the Ministry of Health. The policies are not independent, but rather form parts of other policies that address a number of measures including manure storage, treatment, application, and disposal, as well as national projects for the promotion of anaerobic digestion as well as climate change mitigation and adaptation. The policies are not reported to be contradictory to one another. While they are characterized as restrictive (especially for pig production) and as having fairly defined consequences for noncompliance, stimulation of good practices is weak. Each ministry has its own enforcement body, and enforcement is both strong and well-coordinated. However, the administrative burden of the policies on producers is considered to be high.

Enabling Environment

Producers in Panama have access both to government and non-government credit guarantees and extension services, technical assistance, professional training, and small contracting companies that provide equipment. Most of these services are used by farms of all sizes, as are television, journals, magazines, and social media. A range of incentives to improve IMM among producers is used by the Secretariats, including the Secretariat of Higher Education, Science, Technology, and Innovation (SENACYT), as well as by non-governmental organizations and the Research Institute for Agriculture and Livestock of Panama (IDIAP). SENACYT and IDIAP have led joint projects on integrated environmental management on pig farms, incorporating low-cost bio-digesters, organic compost, vermicompost, and bokashi. Education about MM is present at the secondary school and university levels, as well as in professional trainings. Only government extensionists and local teachers are considered to have sufficient knowledge about IMM, with non-government extensionists and producers of all farm sizes reportedly knowing little. While local-level institutions in Panama such as producer associations and municipal governments are involved in activities related to MM, both politicians and the producers themselves are characterized as disinterested in the topic.

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Colombia

Manure Policy

Colombia has national-level MP, as well as regional MP defined at the level of the province. The MP forms parts of other policies defined by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development. The policies address a range of measures including manure storage, treatment, application, and disposal. While not characterized as contradictory, the policies are weak in terms of prohibitive regulation and stimulation of good practices. However, the sanctions for noncompliance for those restrictions that do exist are described as very clear. While each ministry has its own enforcement body, enforcement is both weak and poorly coordinated, and the administrative burden for farmers is high.

Enabling Environment

The services available to producers in Colombia include government subsidies, generally only used by small farmers, as well as credit, capacity training, and technical assistance. Whereas small farms use television, only medium-size and large farms use other forms of communication such as journals, magazines, and social media. Incentives are not used to improve IMM among producers. IMM is incorporated into school curricula from the primary level onward, but no category of producer or extensionist is reported to have sufficient knowledge of it.

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Ecuador

Manure Policy

Ecuador has national-level MP that forms part of other existing policies. The manure policies are defined by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Aquaculture, and Fishing, the Ministry of Environment, and the Ministry of Public Health, and include measures related to manure treatment and application. While the policies are not characterized as contradictory to one another, they generally lack a strong basis in prohibitive regulation and incentives for good practices. One exception to this tendency is a program for dairy farmers which provides access to higher prices for producers who are certified in certain good practices, including practices that affect MM. Each ministry has its own enforcement agency, and enforcement is reportedly strong but poorly coordinated between the ministries.

Enabling Environment

Ecuadorian producers have access to subsidies, credit, professional training and extension, and these are used by all farms. However, incentives are not used to stimulate IMM among farmers. Rather than television or internet media, face-to-face interaction is the primary mode of communication with producers. IMM is only somewhat present in university and professional training curricula, and no category of producer or extensionist is characterized as having sufficient knowledge of the concept. It has been reported that, due to the high degree of organization within the Ecuadorian pig sector as well as the tendency for pig farms to be located in peri-urban areas, producer initiatives related to pig manure are more common than that of cattle or other livestock. Nonetheless, a discussion of IMM on the government level is reportedly lacking.

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Peru

Manure Policy

Peru has MP at the international level according to its membership in the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), as well as on the national level, defined by the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Energy and Mines, and the Ministry of Health. The policies are not independent, but rather form parts of other polices that address manure treatment and application, and the excretion of nutrients. While the manure policies are not characterized as contradictory, they are described as weak in terms of stimulating good practices and being restrictive, as well as having clear consequences for noncompliance. While each ministry has its own enforcement body, enforcement is reportedly weak and uncoordinated. The administrative burden of the manure policies on the producer is noted to be very high.

Enabling Environment

The services available to farmers in Peru include non-governmental extension and analysis by national laboratories, and few farmers take advantage of them. Television, journals, magazines, and social media are available to farms of all sizes, but used less by small-scale farmers. Incentives to encourage improvements in IMM are not used. School curricula incorporate IMM starting at the secondary level, with agricultural universities having extensive knowledge of the topic. Government and non-government extensionists as well as medium-size and large farms are reported to have sufficient knowledge of IMM, while small farmers and local teachers do not. Peru has carried out projects to install on-farm bio-digesters with funding from the Netherlands Development Organization (SNV) as part of its BioSinergia Project, as well as in partnership with local private organizations such as the Fundo América. The Peruvian agro-export business GRUPO ROCIO is currently using organic sheep manure in the compost for one of its asparagus plantations, with upscaling dependent on the outcome of this initiative. In the goat-breeding region of Piura, the Network of Small Organic Banana Producers (REPEBAN) and the Piura Center for Small Organic Banana Grower Associations (CEPIBO) are using goat manure as organic fertilizer.

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Brazil

Manure Policy

Brazil has MP at the national, regional, and local level. The policies are not independent, but rather form parts of other policies and plans that are defined by the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of the Environment, the Environmental National Council, and Environmental State Agencies. The 2012 Sectorial Plan on Low-Carbon Agriculture (Plan ABC) provides specific targets and budgets for the treatment of animal waste, the use of biogas as an energy source and the installation of bio-digesters, as well as the use of bio-digester effluent as organic fertilizer in crop production. On the other hand, while the 2010 Brazilian National Climate Change Law contains projections of annual emissions from livestock for the period 2006-2020, it does not address MM. Brazil’s manure policies are characterized as very contradictory. The policies are relatively restrictive and contain clearly defined consequences for noncompliance. However, enforcement is reportedly very weak, and as each ministry and state agency has its own enforcement body, poorly coordinated. Though also characterized as weak, services are used to stimulate good practices such as demonstration farms, extension, and financial guarantees. The administrative burden of the policies on the producer is very high.

Enabling Environment

Farms of all sizes in Brazil both have access to and use a range of services including government credit, extension, technical assistance, contractors for equipment, and analyses from national laboratories. While small farms generally use television and radio only, medium-size and large farms utilize social media, journals and magazines as well. Sector organizations, community organizations, and agricultural processors and traders do stimulate good practices in IMM in the form of training, adapted farm advice, and free farm equipment. Nonetheless, MM is characterized as poor overall. Knowledge about IMM is not a substantial part of education at any level, and no category of producer, extensionist, or teacher is described as having sufficient knowledge of the topic. The Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES), the main financer of development in Brazil, runs the INOVAGRO program for incorporation of new technology into agriculture and livestock including some practices related to MM.

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Chile

Manure Policy

Chile has MP at the national level, defined the Ministries of Agriculture, Environment, Energy, and Health. The manure policies are not independent, but rather make up parts of policies that address a range of activities including manure storage, treatment, application, and disposal, as well as climate change mitigation. Chile’s 2008-2012 Climate Change Action Plan calls for exploration of the use of bioenergy from agroforestry and silvopastoral waste and corresponding emissions mitigation plans. The manure policies are not based on the stimulation of good practices, but are restrictive, with clearly defined consequences for noncompliance. Each ministry has its own enforcement body, and while enforcement is described as strong, it is poorly coordinated between the different ministries.

Enabling Environment

Chilean farms of all sizes have access to and use credit, extension, technical assistance, contractors, farm equipment, and analyses from national laboratories. Dairy farms are also eligible to receive “environmental bonuses.” Farms of all sizes use television, periodicals, magazines, and social media. However, no incentives are currently used to stimulate improvements in IMM. School curricula do not include IMM at any level, and neither farmers, extensionists, nor local teachers are characterized as having sufficient knowledge of the concept. The Chilean Corporation to Promote Production (CORFO) and the Chilean Center for Renewable Energies have funded and produced guidelines for the installation of bio-digesters in livestock and agriculture.

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Argentina

Manure Policy

Argentina has national, regional, and local-level MP, as well as policies at the province and district levels. The manure policies form parts of other policies that are defined by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Fishing and the Secretariat of the Environment and Sustainable Development. Argentina’s 2011 National Climate Change Strategy calls for the implementation of waste management practices in the agriculture and livestock sector, as well as measures to limit greenhouse gas emissions from livestock. Other manure policies address more specific components of MM such as nutrient excretion, manure storage, and manure treatment. While the policies are not reported to be contradictory, they are described as weak in terms of both restrictive policy and stimulating good practices. The Secretariat of the Environment and Sustainable Development is responsible for enforcement, and while coordination between the Secretariat and other Ministries is reportedly strong, policy enforcement is weak.

Enabling Environment

While various extension and technical assistance services are available to farms of all sizes in Argentina, small farms use them distinctly less than medium-size and large farms. Likewise, television, journals, magazines, and social media are available to farms of any size, but small farms tend not to use them. The Ministries do use incentives to stimulate good practices, but these incentives are not used to encourage IMM. Knowledge about IMM is present in the education system from primary school level, but at a low level, and neither farmers nor extensionists and teachers are characterized as having sufficient knowledge of the concept. The Department of Non-Conventional Energy’s Direction for Energy Resources heads the Project for the Development of Small Agricultural and Livestock Producers (PROINDER), which facilitates the construction of biodigesters at low-cost (see Ficha 87). The Research Institute for Livestock and Agriculture (INTA) is currently experimenting with the concept of ecological feedlots, whereby mobile feedlots with high animal stocking intensities are rotated through productive lands to provide adequate distribution of manure as fertilizer.

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