Project EcoCer

Funded by DAAD (2022-2024)

Analysis of ecosystem services and socioeconomic performance of silvopastoral systems in the Brazilian Cerrado (EcoCer)

The Cerrado is a major centre of agricultural production in Brazil. Most of the agricultural commodities are produced in mono-cropping systems on large commercial estates, and to a lesser extent by smallholder producers. As a consequence of intensive agricultural production, the Cerrado region faces significant sustainability challenges. Accumulated deforestation in the Cerrado already amounts to 49%.

While land management in the Cerrado traditionally included autochthonous silvopastoral systems that involve cattle production on low-input pastures dominated by various native tree species, these agroforestry systems are of lower productivity and profitability and, therefore, threatened by conversion into more intensive production systems by local smallholders despite their advantageous environmental performance. The project aims to contribute to increasing the productivity and profitability of silvopastoral systems, and to simultaneously improving more intensive agricultural production systems by investigating and analysing the (a) geographical distribution and structure, (b) ecosystem services provisioned, (c) socioeconomic performance, and (d) adoption and dissemination of these systems in the Cerrado.