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Cuban Journal of Agricultural Science

On-line version ISSN 2079-3480

Cuban J. Agric. Sci. vol.54 no.4 Mayabeque Oct.-Dec. 2020  Epub Dec 01, 2020


Animal Science

Characterization of factors that influence on milk production in usufructuaries farms of Consolación del Sur municipality, Pinar del Río

0000-0002-9895-5790Á. C. Alonso-Vázquez1  2  *  , 0000-0002-7451-8748Verena Torres-Cárdenas3  , J. A. Herrera-Hernández4  , 0000-0003-4005-919XC.A Iriban Díaz1  , 0000-0003-0515-6883Bertha Chongo-García3 

1Dirección Técnica Desarrollo Empresa Pecuaria Genética “Camilo Cienfuegos”.

2Facultad de Ciencias Forestales y Agropecuarias, Universidad de Pinar del Río “Hermanos Saíz Montes de Oca”.

3Instituto de Ciencia Animal, Apartado Postal 24, San José de Las Lajas, Mayabeque, Cuba

4Delegación Municipal de la Agricultura Consolación del Sur, Pinar del Río, Cuba


The Statistical Model of Impact Measurement (MEMI) was applied to evaluate the factors that determine the efficiency of milk production in farms of farmers from the cooperative and farmer sector, usufructuaries from Camilo Cienfuegos Genetic Livestock Enterprise, Consolación del Sur municipality, Pinar del Río, Cuba. The study covered 74 usufructuaries, associated with six productive forms or Credit and Service Cooperatives from Consolación del Sur municipality. The evaluated indicators were: information of farmers (9 variables), information of usufruct farms (17 variables), information of the economic area of each productive form to which they are associated (4 variables) and others generated (5 variables). The principal component analysis of the studied variables showed that the first five components explained 81.00 % of the total variability of the data. The first main component was related to herd and production; the second with efficiency indices in milk production, the third with infrastructure and the fourth grouped adopted technologies. While, the fifth, and last, was related to areas and yields. The results confirmed that the adopted technologies have a great influence on the productive performance and the efficiency achieved by the farm. The negative impacts show the need to reorient the work of managers and usufructuaries to undertake actions, in which training prevails accompanied by a strong movement of agricultural extension, which transfers existing technologies to the milk-producing sector. This would cause a favorable transformation in the productive yields that are currently being achieved.

Key words: agrarian extension; productive forms; impact index; farmers; technologies

In Cuba, as part of the strategies assumed in the first and second decades of this century, Decree Law 259/2008 is enacted, repealed by Decree Law 300/2012, both aimed at making better use of the idle lands of the business sector and increasing agricultural production in search of economic diversification, with the consequent improvement in the quality of life of non-state farmers, the promotion of self-employment and the achievement of development sustainable future, without jeopardizing resources for future generations.

Due to the importance of non-state production systems, dedicated to livestock production, in the national and international context, several authors have studied biological and non-biological factors, relative to the herds in this sector and their milk yield in stabled and not stabled farms; organizational and management capacities, among other factors that condition the productivity and efficiency of these production systems (Morales et al. 2013; Martínez et al. 2015; Vargas et al. 2015 and Segura et al. 2017).

According to Martínez et al. (2011), the diagnosis and characterization of these systems constitute fundamental elements to be considered, since they allow the identification of problems in their production processes, and they allow setting technological management strategies to make decisions, with the purpose of increasing the productive yields that are achieved.

Knowing the impact of social, organizational, technological, productive and economic factors, which can limit the increase in milk production of usufructuaries from the cooperative and farmer sector in Consolación del Sur municipality, Pinar del Río, Cuba, constitutes a useful tool for making decisions and setting up strategies in order to achieve maximum efficiency and productivity of the herds.

The objective of this research was to evaluate, through the Statistical Model of Impact Measurement (SMIM), the factors that determine the efficiency of milk production in the farms of farmers from the cooperative and farmer sector, to whom Camilo Cienfuegos Genetic Livestock Enterprise, from Consolación del Sur municipality, Pinar del Río, gave them usufruct land.

Materials and Methods

A case study was carried out in farms of non-state farmers of Consolación del Sur municipality, in Pinar del Río province, Cuba, to whom Camilo Cienfuegos Livestock Genetic Enterprise (LGE) gave usufruct lands through Decree-Law 259/2008 and Decree-Law 300/2012, in order to produce cow's milk.

Of the total lands gave in usufruct, 74 farmers dedicated to milk production of destined for dairy industry were studied. These farmers are associated with six productive forms or Credit and Service Cooperatives (CCS Ñico López, Raúl Maqueira, Rafael Ferro, Pedro Quintana, 10 de Octubre and Juan Navarro). These cooperatives represent 18.2 % of the total of beneficiaries with usufruct lands, gave by Camilo Cienfuegos Genetic Livestock Enterprise.

The selection criteria used were the dedication of two years or more to the dairy activity, the systematically in milk production during 2018 and the reliable productive information at the level of the economic area of the CCS to which it is linked.

The selected farms are rustic, and have mostly crossbred Siboney de Cuba herds. Its extensions range between 2 and 26.84 ha., with an average amount of 1.3 LUA/ha under grazing. They have as mean 2.5 paddocks and two workers per farm. Generally, the mating and natural rearing of the calf is practiced, with restricted suckling.

The predominant soils in the studied farms are classified between brown with carbonate and lixiviated yellow ferrallitic (according to the second genetic classification of soils of Cuba 1975), of agroproductive category III. The most abundant grasses species are native ones, with an approximate predominance of 60 % of the area.

The primary information of each usufructuary included 35 variables or attributes, related to information from the farmer of the dairy farm in usufruct and with the economic area of each productive form (CCS) to which they are linked.

Farmer information variables. Age, educational level, training received, years of experience, family composition, number of male and female children, residence on the farm, family members who work on the farm, daily hours dedicated to work on the farm (9 variables).

Variables of the dairy farm in usufruct. Farm area (ha), facilities, presence of paddock grazing, number of paddocks, water supply for cattle, distance between farm and road, total number of cattle, total cows, milking cows, number of births, mortality, type of milking used, agricultural and livestock technologies adopted, transport for milk carrying, distance to the collection center and type of collection center (17 variables).

Variables of the economic area from each productive form (CCS). Total milk collected in the year, total milk collected per month, income from monthly milk sales, and income from annual milk sales (4 variables).

From the mentioned variables, others were obtained: milk production per cow per day, average annual liters produced per total cow, annual liters produced per total cow, annual liters per milking cow, milk production per hectare (5 variables).

The data matrix for the analysis was made up of 74 usufructuaries, grouped by the CCS to which they are associated, and the corresponding 35 variables to be studied by each one. The statistical analysis of the information was carried out, according to the Torres et al. (2008). MEMI.

The application of the rotation method, which includes the Varimax normalization with Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin (KMO) and the Bartlett sphericity test for the adequacy of the sample and the correlation level between variables (table 1), showed an appropriate value for KMO. While, the Bartlett specificity test showed a highly significant reliability (P <0.001). Hence, it was appropriate to perform the factor analysis for the studied sample.

Table 1 Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin and Bartlett test table for sample adequacy and correlation level between variables 

Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin measure of sampling adequacy 684

Bartlett's sphericity test Aprox. Chi-cuadrado




For the analysis, SPSS program, version 22 (2013) for Windows was used.

Results and Discussion

After conducting the analysis of factors, according to the productive form to which the usufructuaries of the EPG Camilo Cienfuegos are associated, dedicated to cattle milk production, the variables originated, in order of priority, five main components, with a cumulative variability equal to 81.00 % of the total variance (table 2), associated with differences between the six CCS studied, which give rise to the recorded productive results.

In each factor or main component, the grouped indicators showed weight or preponderance factors, higher than or equal to 0.736. The results are similar to those described by Martínez et al. (2013), who when using the same model obtained more than 70 % explanation of the total variance in the first five components.

The preponderance of the variables in PC1, called herd and production, explained 33.59 % of the total variance and refers to volumes of milk production and size of the herd in exploitation. Annual milk production, total cows, milking cows, monthly income and total herd were the variables with the highest weight factor, among which there was a direct relation.

The homogeneity of variance that is presented in this PC1, related to the annual milk production reached by each farmer associated with the different productive forms (CCS) involved in the study, the total cows and milking cows, join with the total herd, are related with economic variables, such as monthly incomes. These variables are considered important, because at higher production level, higher will be the incomes and profitability of the farms. This corresponds to that reported by Martínez (2012), who performed studies on non-state productive forms.

Regarding to PC 2, which explained 18.49 % of the variance and was related to the efficiency indixes in milk production, it explained 52.08 % of the variability. This component grouped two variables with weight above 0.90. Both are related to the average production per cows existing on the farm, under conditions of regular quality grass, an aspect that was not considered a limitation, according to Pérez Infante (2010).

The PC 3, called infrastructure, grouped three variables with weight above 0.70, which explained 11.91 % of the variance. The variables with the highest weight were those related to the number of paddocks for herd grazing and the type of milking used by the farmers on the farms. This result differs from that reported by Martínez et al. (2011), who disregarded the number of paddocks variable from the analysis, because it had a weight below 0.5.

The PC 4, adopted technologies, explained 73.44 % of the total accumulated variance, and integrated two variables that are closely linked to total milk production: average annual liters and per total cow, in addition to liters of milk per hectare. These variables are positively correlated with each other, since the integration of technologies makes farms more productive and affects the sustainability and yield of lands, aspects that correspond to what Benítez (2017) proposed.

Table 2 Factors related to milk production of usufructuaries from the cooperative and farmer sector 

Factors Variables Weight factor Eigen value Explained variance (%) Cumulative variance (%)
Herd and production Annual milk production 0.953 6.05 33.59 33.59
Total cows 0.952
Milking cows 0.927
Monthly incomes 0.904
Total herd 0.883
Efficiency indexes in milk production Annual average liters 0.926 3.33 18.49 52.08
Liters per total cow 0.925
Infrastructure Number of paddocks 0.826 2.14 11.91 63.98
Type of milking used 0.819
Collection center typology 0.736
Adopted technologies Livestock technologies 0.886 1.70 9.45 73.44
Agricultural technologies 0.883
Areas and yields Area in livestock use 0.841 1.36 7.56 81.00
Liters per hectare -0.820

The preponderance of the variables gathered in PC 5, which was named areas and yields, explained 7.56 % of the variance. The correlation structure showed that as better use and management of the area dedicated to milk production and the state of the herd in production, higher are the yields of milk liters produced per hectare, a result that corresponds to that reported by Martínez et al. (2013).

The figures 1 to 5 describe the impact indices by productive form (CCS) of Consolación del Sur municipality, where the usufructuaries of Camilo Cienfuegos Genetic Livestock Enterprise are associated.

The farmers represented on the X-axis, by productive form to which they are associated in each impact index, show their relative situation with respect to the rest of usufructuaries, to which land was given in order to produce milk.

The herd and production impact in the six CCS, where the studied farmers are associated, who are dedicated to milk production, is mostly negative. Only a minority, in the productive form to which they are associated (27.02 %), manifested a positive impact on these variables (figure 1).

Figure 1 Herd impact index and production by productive form to which the studied milk producers are associated 

This is associated with the use of grazing as a basis for milk production. Each farmer must guarantee a rational and efficient use of grasses, in addition to its quality and availability for the use of the heads that make up the herd, for the purpose of milk production. These aspects, in most of the farms, are insufficient due to the lack of uniformity in the bromatological composition of the grass and the variability in the intake with overgrazed areas, which are accentuated as the stocking rate or grazing pressure is lower (Senra 2005). Hence the result shown by a high number of farmers with negative impact. Alonso et al. (2019) consider that the management of the base grass and the feeding systems to be used by the farmer are essential elements that affect the efficiency of feed conversion of the final product (milk) in the cattle.

The farmers of the different CCS that had a positive impact in herd and production are distinguished by presenting annual milk production volumes that exceed 21,000 liters collected, thanks to a daily production of more than 60 liters of milk given to the dairy industry, with an average of 12 milking cows, which represent 56.6 % of the total number of females in their herds.

In addition, it is found in the farms of these farmers higher paddock grazing of the areas with herd rotation, and the presence in some of them of varieties of improved grasses (Pannicum maximum, Brachiaria hybrid (Mulato I) cv CIAT 36061), in addition to the natural. Similarly, they use other technologies destined to herd feeding: areas with protein plants (Tithonia diversifolia and Morus alba) and biomass banks of Cenchrus purpureus cv. Cuba CT-115 or Saccharum officinarum. To this is added the use of harvest wastes and by-products of industrial processes (rice powder, rice bran, sugar cane molasses), among other sources of food supplementation that favorably impact the productive response of herds.

When analyzing the efficiency indices in milk production by productive form to which the milk producers are associated (figure 2), 51.56 % of the 64 farmers associated to the CCS Rafael Ferro, 10 de Octubre, Juan Navarro, Raúl Maqueira and Nico López, had a positive performance in production efficiency with respect to the rest of the CCS farmers, with positive impact values, close to or higher than the 1.0 range.

Figure 2 Efficiency indices in milk production by productive form to which milk producers are associated 

A total of 38 usufructuaries contributing to this positive impact, 18 more than those reported in the herd and production index, which is associated with a higher percentage of milking cows (72.7 %) on the farms of these usufructuaries with respect to the total herd they have (11 cows per farmer , approximately). These daily provide, on average, more than 3.8 liters of milk per total cow, which implies an increase of 30.7 % above the average of the liters of milk produced by the rest of the studied usufructuaries.

Despite the productive efficiency shown in these farms, about the half of the total usufructuaries by productive form (CCS) showed individual production volumes lower than the productive means of the genetic potential with which they work. These report averages lower than 3 liters of milk/milking cow, and only 1 liter per total cow, which can be associated with the low availability of grass to cover the DM requirements of milking cows. According to Soto et al. (2018), females in production should have, at least, double the DM intake requirements to reach their productive potential.

Figure 3 describes the impact of the infrastructure for production by productive form to which the studied milk producers are associated. The performance for all those linked to the CCS Ñico López was positive, a feature that differentiates them from the rest of the farmers associated with the rest of the productive forms, in which the number of usufructuaries showed a negative performance, with impact values in the range of -1.0 to 0.

Figure 3 Infrastructure impact index for production by productive form to which milk producers are associated 

In the mentioned productive form, only two leading usufructuaries have two-position mechanized milking equipment. The rest of the usufructuaries made the milking manually. All the farms have more than 10 paddocks in their areas, a figure that, although insufficient, exceeds the averages found in the remaining studied farmers.

In most of the farms, there were a reduced number of paddocks in their areas, despite the fact that Martínez et al. (2015) and Iriban-Díaz et al. (2019) showed that as higher number of paddocks for milking cows, there would be a greater possibility of area for rotation and more positive results in productivity. This availability of paddocks guarantees adequate resting times and better regrowth of grassland plants cut with higher protein values in leaves, which has a favorable effect on the productive response of the dairy female.

When analyzing the impact of the adopted technologies by the productive form to which the studied milk producers are associated (figure 4), the highest percentage of positive impact was in the farms of the farmers associated to CCS Pedro Quintana, Ñico López and Raúl Maqueira, with impact values mostly higher than 1.0.While, the higher number of farmers associated with the remaining three, showed negative impact values, in the range of -1.50 to -1.0.

Figure 4 Impact index of the adopted technologies by productive form to which the studied milk producers are associated. 

The positive correlation between the variables of this component in the usufructuaries of the mentioned production forms is based on the increased schooling of the farmers and the constant exchange with specialists from the enterprise that gave the lands, which improve the general training of the usufructuaries, and makes them more ready to integrate new technologies, an aspect that corresponds to Morales et al. (2013) reports.

The impact of the area and yield parameters by productive form to which milk producers are associated is showed in figure 5. The performance among farmers by productive forms to which they take was similar, with impact values between positive and negative, mostly, in ranges from -2.0 to 2.0.

Figure 5 Impact index of areas and yields by productive form to which the studied milk producers are associated. 

The performance shown responds to the fact that 94.54 % of the total of the studied farms have a similar extension of land, which does not exceed 13.42 ha per usufructuary, dimensions lower than the 36.9 % of the average extensions of the studied farms by Martínez et al. (2013). As was described in the second impact, not many producers achieve productive milk yields in accordance with the potentials of the herds that they exploit. Hence, the yields per hectare maintained similarity in the performance shown in this impact.

The impact indexes, previously determined and analyzed, were important and contributed to interpreting the great variation in the performance of farms, in order to determine the main problems that influence on their development, aspects that correspond to what is stated by Martínez et al. (2011), Martínez et al. (2013), Rodríguez et al. (2014), Benítez (2017) and Segura et al. (2017).

These results allow laying the foundations for setting strategies guided to farmers who were gave usufruct lands by the Camilo Cienfuegos Genetic Cattle Enterprise, in order to achieve positive impacts on the milk volumes distributed to the industry.

The typification of the variables under study by farmers groups is shown in table 3. The group I was made up of 29.72 % of the studied individuals, while 8.10 % made up group II and III. The latter was considered predominant, made up of 72.16 % of the totality of farmers who obtained usufruct lands to be linked to milk production in Consolación del Sur municipality.

Table 3 Classification of the variables under study by farmers groups 

Indicator Group I (22 farmers) Group II (6 farmers) Group III (46 farmers)
Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD
Annual milk production 11216.77 11403.71 57052.00 115304.97 18962.85 16006.19
Total cows 14.64 10.57 35.17 56.75 17.87 13.02
Milking cows 9.59 7.03 24.83 37.18 12.09 10.87
Monthly incomes 9590.91 7028.24 24833.33 37182.88 12086.96 10866.52
Total herd 34.45 18.02 61.50 74.40 35.30 25.57
Average liters per year 20.01 9.13 31.78 26.95 28.95 8.16
Liters per total cow 7.30 3.33 11.60 9.84 10.57 2.98
Number of paddocks 4.14 3.03 7.00 5.73 0.89 2.08
Milking type use 1.00 0.00 2.00 0.55 1.00 0.00
Collection center typology 1.23 0.43 1.67 0.52 1.00 0.00
Livestock tecnologies 1.67 3.16 2.77 1.21 1.11 1.88
Agricultural technologies 2.50 1.38 3.23 1.97 1.72 1.26
Livestock use area 14.55 4.61 7.63 5.14 12.30 2.83
Liters per hectare 28.61 18.16 131.24 121.08 35.96 19.30

In the studied period, group II expressed better indicators in all variables related to the milk production from usufructuaries in the cooperative and farmer sector. This is related to a better efficiency in the number of milking cows with respect to the total number of heads destined for milk production and, therefore, with higher efficiency indicators. This results in better monthly income from milk sales.

The levels of milk production in grazing shown by this group were higher than the 11.97 thousand liters of milk reported by Martínez et al. (2013) when 43.5 % more milking cows participated. However, they show a yield lower than 399.9 liters per hectare, reported by the mentioned authors.

The results of this group of farmers are closely related to the presence in the farms of a greater number of livestock agricultural technologies, appropriate and sustainable for dairy production (biomass banks of Cenchrus purpureus cv. Cuba CT-115, areas with protein plants for forage, areas of Saccharum officinarum (sugar cane), final molasses-urea, among others), which allow a better use of the grassland for milk purposes.

It is also verified, better distribution of the area in paddocks destined for the livestock rotation, higher cultural level of the usufructuaries and participation in training, among other factors that significantly influence on the productive yields achieved, which are in correspondence with what reported by Camacho et al. (2017).

The positive indicators in favor of this group contrast with the results of the farmers from the remaining groups, which show better productive efficiency associated with the procedures applied on the farms. In consideration of Vargas et al. (2015), these are achieved by the expertise of the actors who lead them, the alternatives to apply on their farms and the way to manage them, in order to achieve efficiency in livestock systems.

The usufructuaries that made up groups III and I showed lower results than those previously reported. There are differences between the farmers that were grouped into these groups, as the former had a higher number of milking cows and total cows and therefore, higher annual milk production. In both groups, milking is manually done. It is considered low the paddock grazing level of the areas and a reduced use of technologies for the sustainability of milk production in tropical conditions.

These aspects directly affect the feeding levels of the grazing cow, and are considered the most significant problem in the tropics, when there is no adequate management in the rotation in grazing areas, due to insufficient grass availability and forage at both seasons of the year. Added to this is the predominance of native grass species with low nutritional value, which grow in soils of decreased fertility, to a greater or lesser extent, aspects that correspond to that reported by Soto et al. (2017).

The level of adopted technologies in both groups did not show a significant effect on the farms yield of the usufructuaries, which directly affects the level of productive efficiency showed. It has been showed in various studies, including the one developed by Camacho et al. (2017), that those farmers who make use of technical advice and introduce technologies in their production processes, have a superior yield (almost 2 L per cow per day) than those who do not incorporate it or who did not have access to it. In this sense, Cardona and Rodríguez (2005) showed that the little use of management technologies by farmers affects the sustainability and productivity of the farms.

Promote a training service and technical assistance for agricultural extension, with a view to improving the adoption of technologies on the farms of milk producers, to whom the Camilo Cienfuegos Genetic Livestock Enterprise gave usufruct lands, will have an impact on better management and greater productive commitment of the primary actors of the dairy chain, which corresponds to what was proposed by Rodríguez et al. (2015).


The study carried out allowed evaluating the impact of indicators that affect the efficiency of milk production of usufructuaries, to whom Camilo Cienfuegos Livestock Enterprise gave land for this purpose. It was determined that five components explain 81.0 % of the variance of these productive systems. The negative impacts found show the need to reorient the work by managers and farmers, in order to undertake actions in which training prevails accompanied by a strong movement of agrarian extension, which transfers existing technologies to the milk producing sector, in order to provoke favorable transformations in the productive yields that are currently being achieved.


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Received: April 20, 2020; Accepted: September 07, 2020


Los autores declaran no presentar conflicto de intereses

Los autores declaran presentar contribución igualitaria en la concepción de la investigación, obtención y procesamiento de los datos y redacción del documento

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