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Brazil can raise cattle without deforestation, Pecsa founder says

One of the founders of a sustainable cattle ranching management firm in Brazil has said the South American country’s entire cattle herd could be accommodated on half of the available pasture land, making it “perfectly possible” for the cattle industry to cause no further deforestation in Amazon regions.

The company concerned is Pecuária Sustentável da Amazônia (Pecsa), founded in Alta Floresta in Mato Grosso state in 2015 with the self-assigned mission of transforming cattle ranching in the Amazon into a sustainable business.

One of the founders, Vando Telles, will be a speaker at a food event in São Paulo on December 3 and in the build-up to that engagement he said around 30 million head of cattle are currently being raised in Amazon regions. He said this represents 38% of Brazil’s total herd, which he puts at 79 million head.

In his comments, Mr Telles said that for Brazilian cattle production to become more sustainable, what’s needed is a move away from “traditional methods” of raising cattle and to develop new methods that are “based on balancing natural resources”, and this is a slow process.

However, he insisted that using advanced technology, which Pecsa seeks to do, makes it “perfectly possible” to maintain or increase cattle production without harming the environment. The approach Pecsa takes involves geotechnology, but also assessing the way ranches work at the moment, mechanising operations, reforming pasture lands, improving infrastructure and “strategic feeding” of cattle.

“We already have available the technology we need to produce beef without any deforestation,” Mr Telles said. “In fact, we could fit the whole of Brazil’s herd into half the pasture area we already have.”

Image: Pecsa

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