‘The Peruvian Paso horse is considered the softest saddle-horse in the world’, Dr. Manuel Efráin Rosemberg, zootechnical engineer
In the interview we will also deepen into the educational and research veterinary world in Peru, the Andean populations and their livestock, and aquaculture
Dr. Manuel Rosemberg Barrón
Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary and Biological Sciences
Scientific University of the South
Dr. Manuel Efráin Rosemberg is a zootechnical engineer of the National Agrarian University La Molina. Master Scientiae in Animal Production of the National Agrarian University La Molina. Doctor Scientiae in Zootechnics from the Federal University of Viçosa (UFV) of the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil. He is currently Academic Vice Chancellor and Dean in the Faculty of Veterinary and Biological Sciences at the Southern Scientific University (UCSUR) in Lima, Peru.
Dr. Rosemberg has dedicated his professional life to the veterinary world, especially to animal production where he has developed several lines of research. The Peruvian Paso Horse (CPP), one of the passions of Dr., is the main subject of this interview. In addition, we will also spread the subjects into the world of veterinary education and research in Peru, the Andean populations and their livestock and aquaculture.
1. As Dean of UCSUR, how do you value the status of veterinary studies?
Veterinary studies should consider the most significant impacts of globalization, which promotes the protection of animal and human health, and at the same time, facilitates international trade within the framework of the Agreement of the World Trade Organization on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures. Similarly, macroeconomic adjustments, referring to the role of governments in the delivery of services, have had a direct impact on the effectiveness of the veterinary and public health services, particularly those for surveillance.
Due to the wide scale of society’s needs in which the veterinary profession must be prepared to intervene, it is essential that the faculties of veterinary medicine have the appropriate conditions to graduate professionals with the knowledge, skills and competencies required to meet them (Vision of the Future of the Veterinary Medical Profession, UNAM, Joint Prologue OSP / WHO).
Our country is not oblivious to this reality, the demographic growth demands a growth in the provision of food of animal origin. In order to meet this demand, it is necessary to plan its increase and the gradual reduction of food imports as a response to a change in State policy and, therefore, greater opportunities for producers and agents involved in the production chain. On the other hand, the growing Peruvian population experiences accelerated changes in pet ownership, adding to the pets (dog, cat, bird and ornamental fish) with the incorporation of exotic species that demand a particular and updated knowledge to his adequate attention and preservation of its health.
2. What are the future challenges to ensure that qualified professionals will leave the classrooms?
The constant changes and developments brought about by globalization entail changes in the activities of the world’s society, generating new needs that current and future professionals have to satisfy. Given these perspectives, educational institutions must constantly update their curricular programs in accordance with the scientific and technological changes that are presented.
The profession of veterinary zoo technologist is not oblivious to this new tendency, for which it is essential that the Faculties and / or Schools must be prepared and have the right conditions to graduate competent professionals.
The tendency in the world of competitive and quality higher education is internationalization, which should not convert all universities into international universities, but to have institutions with international or local programs with content and quality that can respond to this phenomenon of internationalization of education. This will allow graduates to enter the labor market offered by a commercial zone, a region such as North America with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), South America with the Southern Cone Market (MERCOSUR), and other blocks such as the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) or the European Union.
3. How do you see teaching and research?
Research and teaching go hand in hand and is part of the competences that teachers must have. Each university must maintain a qualified teaching staff with advanced degrees and the required profile and the necessary experience in teaching and research.
The research fortifies and strengthens learning process and allows professionals to create new knowledge to solve problems, generate development progress, as well as the capacity for innovation in our society.
Teachers must generate research lines in the area of their specialty and promote research in students through the completion of bachelor theses.
In the case of the Career of Veterinary Medicine and Zoo technics of the Scientific University of the South, 100% of the graduates elaborate thesis. In this regard, it should be noted that as part of the agreement with BIOVET, students have been supported in carrying out research work as part of the completion of their thesis, for which a “Poultry Research Unit” has been installed, which has the necessary facilities and will strengthen the support laboratories.
4. You know the Peruvian horse very well. How has the evolution of this breed been?
The Peruvian Paso Horse (PPH) has its origin from horses brought from Spain by the conquistadors commanded by Francisco Pizarro in 1532. Those horses were crosses of the Andalusian Spanish horse, which contributed its beauty and temperament; the Friesian, his airs; and Berber, its ambiguity and frugality and whose origin is located in the lands of North Africa (Morocco, Algeria), which in turn came to Spain during the Moravian domination between the 8th and 11th centuries.
Based on the genotype of the horses brought by Spanish people, the Peruvians selected working animals to accompany the development of agricultural activities, looking for animals of great softness in the displacement, rusticity, strength, longevity, spirit and beauty. Thus the race was created the “Peruvian Paso Horse” considered at present the softest saddle horse in the world. The stabilization of the race took about four centuries, several generations of crosses, selection and improvement.
The Peruvian horse was developing its particular way of “walking”, called “ambler”, which consists of the following: unlike the conventional, trotting horse, which moves its anterior and posterior legs diagonally (id est, anterior right / posterior left) and vice versa); the Peruvian Paso horse moves, while walking, its front and back extremities laterally, not crossed, (anterior right / posterior right, anterior left / posterior left) which gives it a four-stroke air that resembles a rhythmic step, short, even.
Besides to this step or amble, it has a special skill, described in one of the informative websites of the ANCPCPP (National Association of Breeders and Owners of Peruvian Paso Horses): “In this great categorization the Peruvian Horse is a horse “amblador”, moves on the sides, but has the amble “broken”, so it does not move simultaneously front and rear of the same side, but each one at a different time: first the right rear, an instant later the right front, then the left rear and an instant later the left front. In this way what is called “the air” is formed in four times, each leg of the horse moving at a different time. In addition to this air in four times, our horse has the movement called term, which is the one that makes the horse with his hands: before supporting them on the ground the horse moves the hand out, takes the hand, and then supports. This movement gives a lot of brilliance to the Peruvian horse “.
5. What was the reason for the selection of this breed?
After the independence of Peru, the horse was used as a working tool in the agricultural activity, transporting the farmers in the administration and management of the fields, mainly in the farms of the northern coast of Peru, and as a traveling animal, to transport the rider from one village to another. In the coastal and inter-Andean valleys, it is part of the activities of recreation and showman in festive activities of the towns and the regional and national competitions programmed in the competitions by the ANCPCPP.
Over the years the breeders decided to form in 1947 the National Association of Breeders and Owners of Peruvian Paso Horses (ANCPCPP) institution that has promoted, raising, protection and improvement of the CPP, establishing regional and national competitions and being currently the main reason for raising the CPP. The competitions are really a great celebration celebrated around this original horse, with the assistance of breeders and fans from all over the country and many from abroad, where they are also admired and raised. In the competitions the horses are assembled by the Chalanes, horse riders in white clott including the striped poncho, used in different colors.
It is worth highlighting the participation of the ladies in the exhibitions organized by the ANCPCPP, where they make colorful presentations that are well recognized by the attendees. In the regional and national competitions and in special events the dance of the sailor is being spread with the “Chalán” on horseback and the lady on foot.
6. How important is this special type of horse for the rider?
The Peruvian Paso Horse has a great capacity for interaction with its rider, to whom it responds in a docile, obedient manner, through the pressure exerted on the reins and the position of the legs when riding.
Nowadays, horse rides are being promoted in the sandy areas of the coast and in the inter-Andean valleys of the sierra, becoming one of the most beautiful ways to enjoy the softness of the CPP and to be in touch with nature, camaraderie and friendship of the fans.
Andean populations and the agricultural sector in Peru
7. Let’s talk about cattle farming in the Andean populations, what is their situation?
It is considered that Peru is not a country with great livestock aptitude such as Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. In Peru, according to the 2012 agricultural census register, it has a population of 5,156,000 head of cattle. However, this activity has great socioeconomic importance, since that population is distributed around one million rural homes and is located mainly in the mountains at altitudes above 3500 m, where agriculture has less chance of developing due to weather. 78% of this population are in the mountains, 11% on the coast and 10% in the jungle (Table 1)
In the mountain range, more than 70% of the livestock capital is found in peasant communities and small private properties. In the inter-Andean valleys (2000 to 3500 m) Creole cattle predominate, brought by the Spnish people during the conquest (Berrendos, Negro Avileño, Pajuno, among others), and used as a traction animal in a strong interaction between the FAMILY- AGRICULTURE – BREEDENG. It takes advantage of family labor and generates income from renting traction animals (yokes). In the case of rearing, the cows produce in these conditions of 2 to 3 liters in lactations of 4 to 5 months with calf at the foot, milk is used mainly for the production of cheese. In this area called Quechua there are also small and medium-sized farms based on alfalfa and rye grass with clovers, with genotypes with high crossbreeding of Holstein cattle in the low areas (up to 3200 m) and brown Swiss mestizos.
In the highest parts (3500 to 4800 masl), the breeding in natural grasses predominates, with loads of 03 AU and yields of milk and meat according to the conditions of the natural pastures (3-4 liters per cow with calf at the foot). As feed is being improved, especially the forage floor with cultivated pastures, rye grass and clovers and lately the dormant alfalfa, the Creole livestock is being absorbed by the Brown Swiss as a dual purpose animal, for the production of meat and milk, with production levels of 1500 to 2500 liters per campaign. The sale of milk is fluid milk and production of artisan cheese in the most distant parts of the market.
The introduction of dormant alfalfa by CARITAS PERU has been another extraordinary alternative to improve the conditions of the farmers of the high Peruvian places, which do not have irrigation possibilities. It is estimated that in the high mountain range of Peru a plot of 4 hectares of natural grass feeds a cow that produces 3 liters of milk during 150 days of lactation, 450 liters per year, at S / 1.00 per liter, it would generate an income of S / 450.00 per year. A plot of 4 hectares of alfalfa w350, supports 16 cows (4 cows per ha) with 6 liters of milk per cow and a total of 96 liters / ha / day, for 220 days a year, a total production of 21,120 liters is obtained, at a value of S / .1.00 per liter would generate an annual income of S /. 21,120.00
8. What comparison do you make between the domestication of land animals in antiquity and of fish today?
In this regard, Christian Berger (professor of UCSUR) indicates that “the domestication of land animals, together with the development of agriculture, allowed to transform the nomadic behavior of humans and get them to settle in villages near their crops. This was the beginning of civilization, and with it, of industrial and economic cultural development. “
The fact that we move from the capture of fish and shellfish to their rearing in confined environments, as well as the cultivation of aquatic plants, allows a new development of predictability of the productions, the selection of what we want to produce, as well as the moment of obtaining the resources stored or planted. Thus, and similar to terrestrial productions, a facility is achieved in commerce, distribution and all the economic management involved. More importantly, we have better means to meet the demand for current and future food, with the best quality, delivery opportunity and according to the customs and demands of target populations.
Aquaculture also takes care of the environment and natural resources, contributes to decentralized development and the gender component, since women are closely related to the activities that this technology includes.
Besides to the similarities, we can point out that, comparatively, aquaculture has advantages in the use of currently non-productive spaces, in the concept of working in volumes and not in areas, and in the best conversion of inputs and energy used in its production. Several studies have shown that the carbon footprint and fresh water are much more advantageous in aquatic production, to say so in aquaculture.
9. How are the species selected? And what is the importance?
In current aquaculture, we work with more than 500 species among animals and plants, and as in terrestrial productions, the selection of those that are most suitable for production in captivity is very important. The various bio-technologies are applied to aquaculture in a very fast way, learning from the examples of terrestrial productions, for the greater efficiency and competitiveness of the enterprises. Such as: mass selection, genetic studies, evaluation of gene expression, among other modern techniques.
In the great variety of species in aquaculture production, there are some that due to their value or attributes, deserve an intense work of genetic selection to obtain various desirable characteristics, such as adaptation to different environments, growth and weight gain, shape and product colors, tolerance to diseases or climatic variations. Among the species we can highlight as an example, typical of our country: prawns, gamitana, paco and paiche. In the world great progress has been made in the selection of species of trout, salmon, tilapia, sole, corvine, carp, shellfish such as oysters, and also king prawns.
10. What impact has on sea food the use of fishmeal in the nutrition of carnivorous fish in aquaculture farms?
Like all extractive activity of natural resources, the capture of species has environmental impacts. The important thing is that the use of resources is properly evaluated, regulated, and that the regulations are complied.
In the particular case of Peru, there is an enormous wealth of pelagic species, which in some cases are intended to the elaboration of flours of marine origin. This is a sensitive issue and, therefore, the reinforcement of the above mentioned is especially important. The ideal would obviously be that this wealth would be used for direct human nutrition, however, these fisheries have very special aspects derived from the capture, processing and merchandising, which is difficult to achieve so far.
In the context of an already established industry, the most punctual compliance with its sustainability and care of the impact on the marine environment is necessary, for which the research work of the specialized agency and its recommendations must be respected and reinforced.
In the average that has the resource of fishmeal and fish oils, the most convenient would be to rationalize their use, making it as efficient as possible, and ensure that the wealth generated from it, as far as possible, in the country, feeding its populations, especially the most nutritionally required through the aquaculture products in which this resource is used.
11. What future or challenges remain for aquaculture?
The future of aquaculture is the most promising, given the growing demand for healthy and quality food nationally and globally, and to the extent that it is developed in a sustainable manner. Therefore, its growth must be properly planned, oriented and supervised. On the other hand, the environmental and sanitary care of the activity and its products should deserve the maximum attention. Aquaculture must also diversify in terms of species, environments, products and their presentations.
In all the aspects mentioned, the research plays a main role, so it must be encouraged and adequately financed.
Likewise, there must be trained professionals at all levels, both in research and in management, production, promotion and governance, among other interests.
In these challenges, the academy, through specialized training, plays one of the most important roles, training responsible aqua culturists, innovators and aware of the challenges they must face. Understanding this importance, the Scientific University of the South promotes the training of suitable aqua culturists through its recently created School of Aquaculture Engineering, dependent on the Faculty of Veterinary and Biological Sciences.
|Which are your hobbies?||Basketball and football|
|And a book?||The hungry dogs, by Ciro Alegria|
|Your favorite place in Peru?||Chavin, where I was born|
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