FURTHER READING FROM CHAPTER 5
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Moderate Intensification

Moderate Intensification is achieved through the application of good management practices to improve the social, environmental, and economic performance of cattle ranching within the framework of the existing production system. Such practices may include fencing, improved mixtures of grasses, and better breeding techniques.

Low-tech and cost effective practices to improve pasture and herd management already exist. The Brazilian Corporation of Agricultural Research (Embrapa) has developed Good Agricultural Practices (known as the BPA—Boas Práticas Agropecuárias) for the cattle sector. The BPA provides ranchers with a set of guiding principles, technologies, methods, and techniques to mitigate risks and enable economically viable and environmentally sustainable cattle ranching in Brazil.74 In particular, rotational grazing techniques recommended for pasture improvements are being adopted in a number of countries as part of new approaches to sustainable livestock management.

Moderate intensification represents an important tool to help improve pasture and herd management, therefore improving productivity and potentially the profitability of ranching operations. Supply chain initiatives (such as the G4 Cattle Agreements) that focus on market links among ranches, meatpackers, and retailers can help support and strengthen parallel initiatives aimed at improving productivity.

The G4 Cattle Agreement represents one of the strongest mechanisms currently in place to reduce deforestation in cattle supply chains in the Brazilian Amazon. For moderate intensification to effectively reduce deforestation while avoiding potential negative externalities, it should be strategically integrated with the G4 Cattle agreement (or G4-like agreements).

74. Rodrigues do Valle, E. 2011. Boas Práticas Agropecuárias, Bovinos de Corte,Manual de Orientações, 2a edição revista e ampliada, EMBRAPA, BPA.