EFFLUENTS MANAGEMENT IN DAIRY OPERATIONS: RECOMMENDATIONS AND GUIDELINES FOR LOCAL DEVELOPMENT IN PEASANT FAMILY FARMING
Miguel Quintas-Iglesias1, Fernando Peña-Cortés2, Miguel Escalona-Ulloa2
Background: Peasant Family Agriculture (PFA) accounts for 42.4% of the dairy cow population of the country. Therefore, how effluents are being handled is a key issue. Objectives: To evaluate the level of compliance with the guidelines for dairy slurry handling given by the Superintendence of the Health Services of Chile (SISS, 2006). Methods: A structured survey was used and 15 dairy farmers from a location called Santa María de Los Angeles (Chile) were interviewed. Age and level of education were included as variables to explain the degree of compliance with the guidelines. The amount of effluents in the milking parlours was measured and the volumes of dirty water resulting from washing floors, milking equipment and milk cooling tank were determined. Proposals to strengthen the competitiveness of dairy farmers are also provided. Results: No dairy farm achieved more than 45% compliance with the proper handling of effluents and slurries. The main source of dirty water results from the washing of floors (62.6%) and the washing of milking equipment (25.4%). Farmer’s age and level of education do not correlate statistically with the results of the survey. Suggested measures include training programs for professionals and farmers, the establishment of a public-private working group and technology diffusion for PFA in order to implement proper handling of effluents and slurries. Conclusions: An inadequate handling of sewage is observed in PFA, which may restrict the access to more demanding national and international markets.
Keywords: Slurry handling, sanitary traceability, technical assistance, milking parlours, territorial competitiveness.
1 Magíster en Planificación y Gestión Territorial, Escuela de Ciencias Ambientales, Facultad de Recursos Naturales, Universidad Católica de Temuco, Chile. [email protected].
2 Laboratorio de Planificación Territorial, Escuela de Ciencias Ambientales, Facultad de Recursos Natura- les, Universidad Católica de Temuco. Casilla 15-D, Temuco, Chile.