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Revista de Investigaciones Altoandinas

versión On-line ISSN 2313-2957

Rev. investig. Altoandin. vol.23 no.2 Puno abr-jun 2021 

Original Article

Nutritional management of Cavia porcellus L. in the Andes of Colombia

Manejo nutricional de Cavia porcellus L. en los Andes de Colombia

Rocío Esperanza Patiño Burbano1  *

Diana Cristina Moreno Vargas2

Luz Dary Carlosama Ojeda3

Paola Andrea Portillo López3

Juan Leonardo Cardona-Iglesias4

1 Corporación Colombiana de Investigación Agropecuaria (Agrosavia), Centro de Investigación Tibaitatá. Kilómetro 14 vía Bogotá- Mosquera.

2 Fundación Universitaria Agraria de Colombia (UNIAGRARIA). Calle 170. Bogotá Colombia.

3 Centro de Investigación Obonuco. Kilómetro 5 vía Pasto - Obonuco.

4 Centro de Investigación La Suiza-Kilómetro 32 vía al mar, Rionegro, Santander Colombia.


The Cavia porcellus L. systems implemented by small producers in Colombia have been slow to apply the processes of development and incorporation of feeding practices and technology in nutritional support. The objective of this study was to determine the feeding practices and technology in nutritional support implemented and projected in the C. porcellus L. systems by the producers. Four components were evaluated in 404 C. porcellus L. units and 29 focus groups: demography, identification of the production unit, implemented feeding practices, technology in nutrition and feeding, and the C. porcellus L. producers' perspectives. A Pearson Chi-squared test, a Tukey’s T-test, and a Multiple Linear Regression were used to evaluate the differences between regions using SPSS software version 20. The average area of C. porcellus L. -producing units corresponded to 0.35 ha (Nariño) and 0.17 ha (Putumayo). The predominant food base was forage (67%) produced on the farm (83%). There were significant differences between regions, with a p < 0.05 in food base, forage cultivation area, forage conservation feeding practices, type of fertilization, and the group of animals supplemented. The use of technology such as feed based on kitchen waste and supplements was used by producers in the Putumayo region (p > 0.05) most frequently. Our data show that C. porcellus L. systems in the study area not only have a high potential in the diversity of the forage supplements that makes up the diets but also in the development and implementation of feeding practices and technology in nutrition and animal feeding.

Keywords: Cavia porcellus L.; feeding practices; availability of local forage; supplement use


Los sistemas de Cavia porcellus L. desarrollados por pequeños productores en Colombia enfrentan procesos de desarrollo e incorporación de prácticas en nutrición y alimentación con baja aplicación. El objetivo de este estudio fue determinar las prácticas en nutrición y alimentación implementadas y proyectadas en los sistemas de C. porcellus por los productores. Cuatro componentes: demografía, identificación de la unidad productora, prácticas en nutrición y alimentación implementadas y proyectadas por los productores de cuyes fueron evaluadas en 404 unidades productoras y 29 grupos focales. Un test de Chi cuadrado de Pearson, una prueba Tukey y una Regresión Lineal Múltiple fueron usados para evaluar las diferencias entre regiones a través del Software SPSS versión 20. El promedio de área de las unidades productoras correspondió a 0,35 ha en Nariño y 0,17 ha en Putumayo. La base alimenticia predominante fue forraje (67%) producido en la finca (83%). Existieron diferencias significativas en la base alimenticia, área de cultivo y prácticas de conservación del forraje, tipo de fertilización y grupo de animales a los que suplementa entre las regiones con un p < 0.05. La alimentación con base en residuos de cocina y suministro de sal mineralizada se encontró con mayor frecuencia en la región de Putumayo (p > 0.05). Los datos muestran que los sistemas de producción de cuy en el área de estudio tienen un alto potencial en la diversidad de la oferta forrajera que compone las dietas, y en el desarrollo e implementación de prácticas y tecnologías en nutrición y alimentación.

Palabras clave: Cuy; prácticas de alimentación; disponibilidad de forrajes locales; uso de suplementos


Andean mountains are cultural landscapes, long dominated by land uses associated with subsistence agriculture where Cavia porcellus L. is considered a cultural and natural resource to improve the quality of life and economic sustainability in the Andean communities (Maldonado, 2019). C. porcellus breeding had had relation to cultural aspects from the gastronomic to the spiritual, which date back to pre-Inca times (Arcos Morales et al., 2017), and most of the production is consumed or exported where the people of the Andes live (Mínguez Balaguer et al., 2019).

It production provides a regular supply of high-quality animal protein which contributes to food security and also provides a small but consistent income to producers (Ngoula et al., 2017). Currently, food security initiatives for small producers consist of prioritizing interventions to support local research and innovation (Rybak et al., 2018).

Andean countries are directly related to family, peasant, and indigenous economies, where women have a significant leadership role transmitted through the generations (Patiño Burbano et al., 2019). C. porcellus feeds mainly forage and does not compete directly with humans for food resources such as corn and wheat (Ramirez-Borda et al., 2019). The natural diet includes a combination of wild fruits, leaves, and forages, specifically those with a short growing season located in its habitat. In confined diets feeds are grass hay for the adult stage and mixtures of hay/alpha for the growth stages and lactating females, C. porcellus being one of the few herbivores that naturally transport Lactobacillus in the gastrointestinal tract (Grant, 2014).

C. porcellus does not adapt quickly to changes in diet and water (Shomer et al., 2015), and the main nutritional requirements consist of 10 to 16% of crude protein (CP) in the adults, and 18-20% in the growth stage, ≥ 15% of fiber, 0.80% of calcium, 0.40% of phosphorus, 6.6 IU/kg of Vitamin A, and 200 mg/kg of vitamin C (Cardona-Iglesias et al., 2020; León et al., 2016). Animal feeding is considered to be one of the factors that directly affect the production, reproduction, and quality of the carcass and meat in C. porcellus, in fact they grow well with the food waste from kitchens, although it is possible to increase meat production using concentrates and dietary supplements (Sánchez-Macías et al., 2018).

Socio-cultural and economic factors determined the diversity of food resources in the nutritional management in the study area, thus, diets depend on the traditions in the habit of using forage species, the ethnic origin of the producers, the access and distance to places where some species were ancestrally harvested, and the line of transmission of knowledge in the management of production, which is mainly matriarchal (Perilla, 2014). Additional factors could be too traditional knowledge and feeding practices, formal and non-formal education, extension systems, and relationships with the community (Gobernación de Nariño, 2019).

In the study area, some nutrition and feeding practices have been described, however, some productive and reproductive parameters still have low efficiency. According to Caycedo et al. (2011), the principal food source for C. porcellus corresponds to cultivable pastures, forage trees, and local forages. We describe the current state and scope of nutrition and feeding practices and technology in C. porcellus husbandry, relating to the key drivers that influence the incorporation of suitable technology. The objective was to identify the feeding practices and nutrition and feeding technology implemented and projected in the socio-cultural and natural systems of C. porcellus in the Andes.

Materials and methods

Study area

The farmers for this study were selected at the villages Pasto (Nariño) and Colón, Santiago, and San Francisco (Putumayo) in the South of Colombia (Figure 1). The study area corresponds to Humid Montane and Low Montane Forest, with altitudes between 2000 and 3000 asl, mean annual rainfall from 500 to 2000 mm, and temperatures between 6 and 18°C (Holdridge, 1967). Peasants (57%) and indigenous (43%) populations were surveyed.

Figure 1 Location of the study area 

Data collection and data analysis

The sample size was calculated from the producer databases (n=1058 at 99% of confidence) available in the study area. The data collection conducted was a part of the project to expand regional research and innovation in small farmers of C. porcellus. We conducted face-to-face primary structured surveys during 29 focus group with C. porcellus producers from May to July of 2017 in 404 systems (38% of the total population).

Four dimensions and 38 variables are analyzed: demographics (n=6), production unit (n=2), feeding practices, and technology implemented by producers in nutrition and feeding (n=12), as well as the viability of feeding practices and prospects of that producer (n=19). Responses were hand-noted and the survey digitized in Microsoft Excel.

SPSS Software version 20 (SPSS Inc., NY, USA) was used to analyze collected data. The categorical variables were described by using frequencies and percentages (Moreno & Grajales, 2017). The Pearson Chi-squared test was applied to assess differences in (Rybak et al., 2018) nutritional management for categorical variables and a Tukey’s T-test for quantitative variables between regions. Significance was measured when p < 0.05. Multiple Linear Regression was carried-out to identify factors that grant implementing nutrient management practices in the systems.

The dependent variable was the level of education of the farmer. Explanatory variables corresponded to gender (demographics), the origin of forage, use of nutritional supplements, group of animals you supplement - pregnant females (production unit), food based on kitchen waste, feeding based on fresh pasture mixtures (current technology), and familiarization with fodder selection according to nutritional content (projected technology).


Demographic characteristics

According to the municipality, the distribution of producers surveyed corresponded to Pasto (50%), Colón (13.4%), Sibundoy (27%), San Francisco (3.7%), and Santiago (5,4%)). The predominant gender was women (Nariño 80% and Putumayo 87%), with no significant differences within the regions (p<0.05 =0.0725). A low proportion of illiteracy was reported (≥ 90%) among producers, with no statistically significant interregional differences (p < 0.05 = 0.2099).

Most producers in both regions have completed their primary basic education (Nariño = 63% and Putumayo = 57%). The high school rate was 12% (Nariño) and 15% (Putumayo). The proportion of farmers who had high school was 19% (Nariño) and 14% (Putumayo). A low proportion of producers in both regions with technical (Nariño = 5% and Putumayo= 10%) and bachelor degree levels of education was reported (Nariño = 1% and Putumayo =3%). In the Putumayo region, was found no formal education (1%). No statistically significant differences for the literacy level variable were found (p < 0.05 = 0.2099) across regions.

The survey revealed the breeding of C. porcellus is carried out by women who have dedicated more years to the process of implementation and care than men in the two departments. The average age of men (51.35 years) caring for C. porcellus in Nariño was higher than women (47 years). The Putumayo area reported an average age in women (47 years) higher than men (43 years). No significant differences were found at p < 0.05 = 0.1352 by Tukey test across regions for the average age variable. Women in charge of the systems are older than men.

Production unit

The average area of productive units corresponded to 0.35 ha (Nariño) and 0.17 ha (Putumayo), with a higher area dedicated in Nariño. A predominance of small-holdings and micro-holdings had reported, where 99% of the systems surveyed had production units ranging in size from 0.0001 to 0.25 ha (Nariño) and 0.0001 to 0.85 ha (Putumayo), respectively. A small part of the assessed population (less than 1%) owned extensions ranging from 1 ha (Putumayo) to 2 ha (Nariño).

The farmers traditionally developed their systems on their land (92% Nariño and 88% Putumayo). Other forms of land tenure found in the study corresponded to leased land with 5% (Putumayo) and 9% (Nariño). In some cases, producers´ family lands (3% Nariño and 2% Putumayo) or community systems indigenous reservations (1 % Putumayo) were reported, with no statistically significant differences (p < 0.05 = 0.5041) across regions.

Animal feeding and technology practices

The most important source of food was foraging (Nariño), and mixtures made of forage and concentrate (Putumayo), with significant differences between regions (Table 1). The practice of allocating areas for forage cultivation was predominant in the research area, with smaller areas for forage production used to feed, occurring with a significantly higher frequency (78%) in Putumayo (p < 0.05 = 0.01532).

Despite forage conservation feeding practices being known in the study area, a low proportion of producers have implemented them on their farm. According to the results, the Putumayo producers (11%) had implemented its technology at a higher level than the Nariño producers (5%). The use of dietary supplements in the systems was not usual among producers (34 % in each region- Table 1). Significant differences were observed between regions in supplementation to males and females before mating (p < 0,05 = 0.0486), and female supplementation in the gestation period (p < 0,05 = 0.0420) where the highest frequency occurred in Putumayo (22%).

Forage fertilization practices were carried out in most of the properties of the study area, having a greater use in Nariño (86%), along with the application of organic fertilization (62% Nariño and 70% Putumayo - Table 1), with no significant differences.

Table 1 Animal feeding practices in the study area. 

Feeding practices Nariño % Putumayo % P < 0.05
Food Basis 0.00001*
Forage 67 36
Concentrate 1 1
Forage and concentrate 30 59
Agricultural by-products and kitchen waste 2 4
Origin of forage 0.05106
Buys it 3 10
Produces it on the farm 83 74
Buys it and produces it on the farm 9 12
Harvests it through ancestral feeding practices 5 4
Area of forage 0.00000*
Small 59 78
Large 34 7
No area to be allocated 7 15
Forage conservation feeding practices 0.01532*
Yes 5 11
No 89 79
Don’t know them 6 10
Fertilization .00409*
Yes 86 75
No 14 25
Fertilization 0.00001*
Organic 62 70
Chemical 4 2
Organic and chemical (mixed) 20 3
No 14 25
Nutritional supplements 0.96856
Yes 34 34
No 66 66
Group you supplement Yes No Yes No
Females and males before mating 13 87 20 80 0.04860*
Females before mating 2 98 2 98 0.72268
Males before mating 2 98 3 97 0.50147
Gestation 14 86 22 78 .04203*
Fattening 20 80 25 75 0.19282
Weaning 29 71 24 76 0.31537

*Significant Chi-squared test at p < 0.05.

60 forage species constituted the source of food resources used by C. porcellus producers in the study area. The predominant species group in the composition of diets corresponded to Gramineae and the use of local forage and tree resources. Comparatively, a greater diversity of local grasses and forage species were found, respectively, in Putumayo compared to Nariño (Table 2). The diet composition of C. porcellus in the regions is shown in Table 2.

Table 2 Forage availability reported in C. porcellus systems. 

Region/Type Common name Scientific name %
Saboya Holcus Lanatus 70
Kikuyo Cenchrus clandestinus 66
Brasilero Phalaris arundinacea 58
Rye Grass Tetralite genotype Lolium hybridum 43
Gramineae Rye Grass Aubade genotype Lolium hybridum 17
Blue orchoro Dactylis glomerata 7
Oat Avena sativa 4
Maralfalfa Pennisetum sp. 2
Legumes White clover Trifolium repens 53
Alfalfa Medicago sativa 12
Trees White Chilca Baccharis latifolia 5
Elderberries Sambucus nigra 1
Black Acacia Acacia decurrens 1
Alder tree Alnus glutinosa 1
Gold Button Thitonia diversifolia 5
Local forage species Wounded heart Eupatorium niveum 8
Knucke Oplismenus barmannii 4
Achicoria Cichorium intybus 4
Imperial Axonopus scoparius 59
Saboya Holcus Lanatus 47
Rye Grass Tetralite genotype Lolium hybridum 38
Kikuyu Cenchrus clandestinus 30
Cutting edge grass Hyparrhenia rufa 18
Gramineae Maralfalfa Pennisetum sp. 16
Honey grass Paspalum dilatatum Pior 7
Purple Elephant Pennisetum purpureum 6
Blue orchoro Dactylis glomerata 3
Oat Avena sativa 1
Rye Grass Aubade genotype Lolium hybridum 1
Legumes White clover Trifolium repens 6
Alfalfa Medicago sativa 2
Trees Gold Button Tithonia diversifolia 31
White Chilca Baccharis latifolia 1
Mulberry Morus alba 1
Knucke Oplismenus barmanni 8
Botoncillo Sphylantes sp. 5
Ramie Boehmeria nívea 6
Local forage species Pacunga Bidens sp. 4
Wounded heart Poligonum nepalense 4
Reed rush Schoenoplectus californicus 2
Milky Euphorbia heterophylla 2

Prospects of animal feeding practices and technology

Seven animal feeding practices and technologies were used in the regions, technologies such as kitchen waste-based feeding, feed based on mixtures of fresh forage, frequency of feeding, forage banks, multi-nutritional blocks, mineralized salt, and dehydrated forage were implemented (Table 3). There were significant differences in the use of technology included feed based on kitchen waste and mineralized salt supply, used more frequently in Putumayo and the variable feed frequency twice/day used by producers in Nariño (Table 3).

The management of feeding technology based on mixtures of fresh forage, frequency of feeding, fodder banks, and the uses of nutritional blocks were similar in both regions (Table 3). Dehydration of fodder was found most frequently in Putumayo (97%). Producers surveyed showed that more knowledge was necessary to select forage and ingredients according to nutritional content, nutritional requirements, and physiological condition, especially for the production of concentrates, and multi-nutritional blocks with resources existing in the study area.

There was an interest in learning about nutrition and animal feeding practices and projected technology (Table 3).

Table 3 Nutrition and food technology implemented and with feasibility of implementation. 

Nariño % Putumayo % P < 0.05
Current technology Yes No Yes No
Kitchen waste 24 76 81 19 0.00001*
Fresh pasture mixtures 84 16 84 16 0.95885
Feeding frequency /Twice/day 25 75 14 86 0.00376*
Feeding frequency / Three times/day 20 80 20 80 0.88012
Forage bank 3 97 4 96 0.75031
Multi-nutritional blocks 3 97 2 98 0.54268
Supply of mineralized salt 2 98 11 89 0.00369
Dehydration of forages 6 94 3 97 0.16034
Projected technology
Multi-nutritional blocks 38 62 33 67 0.32117
Production of concentrates 63 37 60 40 0.64266
Hydroponic crops 10 90 22 78 0.00136*
Forage preservation process 14 86 19 81 0.15580
Familiarization with fodder selection according to nutritional content 21 79 20 80 0.88315
Mineral and vitamin supplement 3 97 2 98 0.58140
Diets management by productive stage 11 89 11 89 0.94312
Grassland management 2 98 2 98 0.97470
Water Supply and Facilities Management 1 99 1 99 0.37772
Sprout management and grain processing 2 98 4 96 0.30539

*Significant Chi-squared test at p < 0.05.

We identified through Multiple Linear Regression seven factors in four dimensions that grant implementing nutrient management practices in C. porcellus systems. We further observed that the level of education had significant impacts on the nutritional management technology adoption and projection at p < 0.05 (Table 4).

Table 4 Multiple linear regression analysis. 

Coefficients SE P < 0.05 P-value regression R-square
Independent variables 0.0004 0.0542
Gender -0.2650 0.1091 0.0156
2.Production unit
Origin of forage 0.2918 0.1071 0.0067
Nutritional supplements -0.2249 0.1134 0.0481
Group you supplement 0.3150 0.1382 0.0231
3. Current technology
Kitchen waste -0.1885 0.0808 0.0202
Fresh pasture mixtures 0.0663 0.1134 0.5587
4.Projected technology
Familiarization with fodder selection according to nutritional content -0.1320 0.1008 0.1910


Farmers had a high potential in the diversity of the forage supply that makes up the diets and the development and implementation of feeding practices and technology in nutrition and food. In a study conducted in Cameroon, the results showed that breeding of C. porcellus is carried out by women (54%) and men (46%) in all age groups ranging from 9 to 90 years (Herman et al., 2014), differing from the information reported in the present study. Our results indicate that women in Colombia have contributed significantly more to C. porcellus systems, under family farming conditions (Perilla, 2014).

This agrees with the findings of Morales (1994), who suggests that in conditions of family agriculture, women are typically more responsible for the systems. Finally, Lammer et al. (2009) concluded that C. porcellus management and care is frequently carried out by women and Kouadio Kouakou et al. (2015) reported a 96.3% participation for the women of Côte d’Ivoire (West Africa).

Gender (p< 0.05 = 0.0156) and education (p< 0.05 = 0.004) differences influenced nutritional management technology adoption in the systems, often determined by culturally defined gender roles and labor divisions in the study area. There are reports of more years of experience in C. porcellus care in Colombia (22 years) compared to producers in the Democratic Republic of Congo (10 years).

Kouakou et al. (2015) reported in in Côte d’Ivoire a high level of literacy (81%) distributed in producers with primary level (32.1%) and university (36.6%). Other available data suggest that reading and writing skills among producers are significantly higher (≥ 90%), compared with the territories of Kalehe (66.7%), Kabare (50%), and Walangu (58.8%) (Simtowe et al., 2017).

Illiteracy levels in producers of C. porcellus reported for Sub-Saharan Africa were 55% (Benin), 19% (Côte d'Ivoire), 29% (Cameroon) and 42% (Democratic Republic of Congo) (Faihun et al., 2017; Herman et al., 2014; Mass et al., 2016). These were considered high and constitute an obstacle to improved production (Ayagirwe et al., 2018). In contrast, for the case of Colombia, illiteracy levels were distributed between 0% (Nariño) and 1% (Putumayo), which represents an opportunity for its improvement.

The area of C. porcellus systems in Colombia of 0.35 ha (Nariño) and 0.17 ha (Putumayo) is significantly smaller than that reported by Simtowe et al. (2017) for the Democratic Republic of Congo (1.8 ha). We observed that in Colombia the participating producers in the study fed C. porcellus mostly with locally available forage plants (67%) and few supplements (34%). Also, the use of concentrate has been widely used in locally developed experimental trials in feeding in the study area (Caycedo et al. 20011) with low incorporation within the group of small producers (Cardona-Iglesias et al., 2020; Patiño Burbano et al.,2019). Our study coincides with the data available for Sub-Saharan Africa (Simtowe et al., 2017) for countries such as Côte d’Ivoire (Kouadio Kouakou et al., 2015), Democratic Republic of Congo (Kampemba et al., 2017), and Tanzania (Maass et al., 2016), where the use of concentrate is restricted and only applied in experimental trials, but generally not at the farm level.

Our analysis shows that the predominant species in the composition of diets corresponded to grasses (Poaceae), local forage resources (Asteraceae), tree resources, legumes (Leguminoseae) and kitchen waste. These results agree with a review article developed by Simtowe et al. (2017) in sub-Saharan African countries (Côte d’Ivoire, Benin, Cameroon, Gabon, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Tanzania) in which the authors reported that the predominant C. porcellus feeding resources include grasses (Poaceae), herbaceous compounds (Asteraceae), legumes (Leguminosae), and kitchen waste (Ayagirwe et al., 2018; Faihun et al., 2017; Franklin et al., 2017; Kampemba et al., 2017; Kouadio Kouakou et al., 2015; Ngoula et al., 2017; Ngoupayou et al., 1995; Simtowe et al., 2017).

In the study area, the collected data reveal that forage comes from a low proportion of ancestral feeding practices such as collection in the fields or roadsides, being predominantly the implementation of small and large areas for the cultivation of fodder exclusively for C. porcellus feeding. In contrast, high forage collection in the fields and roadsides of the C. porcellus L. systems in sub-Saharan Africa, where the quantities collected depend on the carrying capacity of women. The results for the variable feeding frequency in the study area were coincident with available data to suggest that C. porcellus are generally fed one to three times a day without quantifying the amount (Simtowe et al., 2017).

Within the feeding practices and use of technology in C. porcellus systems in Cameroon, most food sources come from agricultural waste and are sometimes supplemented with vegetables and fodder, resulting in low animal productivity (Niba et al.,2012). In the Colombian case, the food base coming from harvest residues is used in a low proportion being predominantly the forage base. However, the results were a coincidence in terms of the low productivity presented by the animals belonging to small producers of C. porcellus. In this sense, at an experimental level, in order to contribute to the correct use of the species management, mixtures of forage and supplements that contribute to the improvement of productive parameters have been developed in different regions.

Emile et al. (2017) studied the voluntary consumption of fresh fodder in Cameroon with species such as Cenchrus clandestinus and Pennisetum purpureum. The voluntary consumption variable had significant differences when chopped Pennisetum purpureum was administered in contrast to unchopped Pennisetum purpureum. These same authors also reported that compared to the legumes evaluated, the level of crude protein and mineral in Cenchrus clandestinus and carbon in Pennisetum purpureum was high. Niba et al. (2012) reported a high preference of C. porcellus L. for Cenchrus clandestinus compared to concentrate in Cameroon. In a study conducted in Ivory Coast, Kouakou et al. (2013) reported the use of Panicum maximum and Euphoria heterofila for the evaluation of C. porcellus meat quality. The association of Panicum maximum and Euphoria heterofila is reported to be a forage mixture that significantly improves digestibility, fecundity, birth weight and weaning weight in C. porcellus systems in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Bindelle et al., 2007, 2009).

In the Colombian case, forage resources such as Cenchrus clandestinus and Lolium sp. have been used in mixture with concentrate in the phases of raising and fattening at an experimental level, obtaining a better productive behavior in terms of daily weight gain. During the fattening phase, experimental diets in vivo have been formed by Cenchrus clandestinus, Phalaris arundinacea, Lolium multiflorum, and Trifolium repens, in mixtures between Cenchrus clandestinus and Trifolium repens reporting high values of digestibility. The C. porcellus meat quality has been evaluated through supplementation with forage of Acacia melanoxylon and Lolium hybridum, consolidated as a recommendable alternative for increasing the content of fatty acids in meat.

Some experimental food supplements in Colombia have included the use of Lupinus mutabilis sweet, Dahlia imperialis ortgies, Smallanthus pyramidalis, and Chenopodium quinoa willd. Dietary supplements have integrated the use of Avena sativa hay, plant sources such as Musa sapietum L. flour, Manihot Utilissima pohi and Saccharum officinarum L., Brassica napus, Medicago sativa, animal sources such as Californian red worm meal (Eisenia foetida), and blood meal. Other information available in Colombia suggests that the association of Pennisetum sp. and Boehmeria nivea should be valued for the improvement of the productive behavior.

Producers interviewed in both regions consider that the knowledge and incorporation in their systems of feeding practices and technology in nutrition and food based on local resources are promising opportunities to generate improvements in the productive process and income. The above coincided with what set out in the Strategic Plan for Science, Technology, and Innovation (PECTIA) projected for the C. porcellus chain. We agree with what has been reported about the efforts of South-South cooperation between South America and Sub-Saharan Africa where it is considered a challenge to improve the supply of forage to achieve rapid and alternative access to food and income for women (Maass et al., 2016).


The study population consisted of peasants and indigenous people from the Pastos, Inga and Kamëntsá ethnic groups, who see in the Andean ecosystem and in the practice of C. porcellus a strategy to reduce the impact on biodiversity, address climate change and generate regional sustainable development. This allows the integration of ancestral knowledge and scientific knowledge, in order to develop a strategy of food security proper to Family Agriculture, not only for subsistence, but also for systems that have had a medium to high level of technological development in the Andean mountains of Colombia. Our findings suggest that women in the study area are repositories of ancestral knowledge. It also reaffirms the role of women and her level of education in the family food security of the inhabitants of the Andes and in the incorporation of circular management technology that promotes bio-economic transition processes in the region.


Authors would like to thanks to IFAD, AGROSAVIA, and C. porcellus producers.


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Received: September 20, 2020; Accepted: March 25, 2021

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