Evaluation of the sustainability of a management alternative in the production system of small producers of Carchi, Ecuador. II. Experimentation with a simulation model.

  • Claudio Aguilar Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile
  • Victor Hugo Barrera Mosquera Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Agropecuarias, Quito, Ecuador
Keywords: simulation, sustainability, small producers, productive systems


A dynamic and probabilistic simulation model, developed and validated, was used to study management alternatives for the production systems of small producers in the Carchi area, Ecuador, to evaluate biologically and economically, in a period of 10 years, the sustainability of a production system. The main characteristic of the system is that it keeps the surface area for potatoes and milk production constant. For the production of milk, the components used are a mixture of improved and natural pastures, fertilizations at planting and maintenance, and 360 kg of concentrate during a 120-day lactation period. The variables used to describe the sustainability of the system are milk and potato production, nutrient dynamics, in the soil, income, profits, and a marginal rate of return. The results allow to conclude that the alternative used to evaluate the production of the system is adequate from the point of view of sustainability, and that the annual net benefits range between US $ 1,100 and $ 1,600. The management of milk production considered it is a biologically sustainable alternative. However, potato production in a constant area presents variations that include five years of low yields, which causes instability in this component of the system. Regarding the dynamics of nutrients in the soil, pasture management practices that include an adequate fertilization rate, added to the incorporation into the soil of excreta residues and litter, allow to maintain K levels and improve those of N and P.


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How to Cite
Aguilar, Claudio, and Victor Hugo Barrera Mosquera. 1997. “Evaluation of the Sustainability of a Management Alternative in the Production System of Small Producers of Carchi, Ecuador. II. Experimentation With a Simulation Model.”. Latin American Archives of Animal Production 5 (1), 1-20. https://ojs.alpa.uy/index.php/ojs_files/article/view/2964.
Original paper