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by José Luis Urrea
CIAT and the Papalotla Group, a worldwide leading company in the production of improved seeds for tropical hybrid pastures, signed the agreement “Sustainable intensification for environmental benefits”. This agreement follows a long-term collaboration between both organizations, achieving a wide dissemination of hybrid pastures developed by CIAT and distributed by Papalotla, such as Cobra, Cayman, Camello, Mulato, and Mulato II. This agreement allows the Papalotla Group to produce and commercialize the new hybrids developed by CIAT in three lines: Brachiaria hybrids currently being developed, B. humidicola and Panicum hybrids.
Therefore, this agreement focuses on streamlining the links between CIAT’s Tropical Forages Breeding and the end users, to guarantee delivery and adoption of the products and, finally, the program’s impact. The Forages Breeding Program is characterized by being the only one to successfully handle a complex biological system (tetraploid apomictic hybrids) to potentiate multiple desirable characteristics in forages, such as resistance to drought, flooding, and pests; higher productivity and nutritional quality; among others.
Since the release in 2001 of Mulato, the first hybrid bred by CIAT and selected by Papalotla, it is estimated that it has been planted to more than 750,000 hectares worldwide. Nowadays, the Papalotla Group has disseminated CIAT hybrids in 52 countries around the world to meet the growing demand for improved forages, technology, and knowledge that guarantee profitable and sustainable livestock production and thus improve farmers’ livelihoods.
Besides the desirable characteristics of improved forages, this new agreement will focus their efforts on developing products that also reverse environmental degradation, such as higher productivity per area to use less land, and contribute to reducing greenhouse gases from livestock activity, in line with global initiatives to mitigate climate change and build sustainable food systems.