Caption: Representatives of BPU, Hereford, MGAP, INIAm INAC and ARU.

According to the Minister of Livestock, Tabaré Aguerre, the Project of Improvement of Uruguayan Stockbreeding Competitiveness, “positions genetics in the leading edge of knowledge, “pointing out that in addition to the scientific and technologic aspects of the project, “it is innovative because of the institutional coordination”.

Because, he added, “it is not common that seven institutions get together to carry on a project of this nature”.

That is why he asserted that “there is no genetic improvement project in the world with this focus; as an Irish consultant and auditor said”.

And he went further, he classified it as “the project of greatest institutional and scientific power which may position us in the leading edge of knowledge”.

Standing out.

During the event, at the plant of Breeders & Packers Uruguay slaughterhouse, BPU Meat, in the department of Durazno, the Secretary of State reminded that the purpose of this Project “is focused on two main elements of domestic stockbreeding competitiveness: the efficacy in turning pasture or food into beef, and the quality of the carcass thus produced”.

He said our country “sells an increasingly better beef in relation to its competitors, regardless of the fact that the price may raise or go down, because of commercial and market conditions”.

Aguerre stated that relatively speaking Uruguay “has been standing out in the long term, and the way of doing so has to do with quality and the way of competing, at a large extent, with the efficiency of these productive processes”.

In addition to he Minister Tabaré Aguerre, the president of the Hereford Cattle Society, Dr. Alejandro Costa Irigoyen, the president of INIA, Eng. Álvaro Roel Dellazoppa, the president of INAC, Eng. Federico Stanham, the manager of the Rural Association of Uruguay, Eng. Gonzalo Arroyo and the manager of BPU, Eng. Daniel De Mattos, were also present.

De Mattos, said that “it has been an honour” to be selected by BPU for the slaughter stage of the project. “We are certain that is one of the projects which will make a difference in genetic improvement and production efficieny in Uruguay”. He asserted that “the project has much to do with the philosophy of this company in relation to innovation and the incorporation of information in the production process”.

But fundamentally, he stated that one of the things which “will most affect this project, commercially speaking, is the collaboration on yielding cleaner productions”, and he explained that “in our country, that is one of the values that we as a company, sell most and will add more value today and in the future”.

Eng. Daniel De Mattos said that grass-fed beef production and the most efficient production, in this case with a lower carbon footprint, with less use of water, less use of natural resources, is undoubtedly, a very high point of sale and therefore, we are doubly honoured to inaugurate this project in our house”.

Elly Navajas, main researcher on animal genetic improvement of INIA, highlighted the progress of the project, within the expected times and results, “we completed the first 18 months, carrying out the fifth assessment test for efficiency in pen confined animals, which is to be continued until the end of the project, at the end of 2016, with almost 400 animals being assessed and adding more data to this information, in addition to all the things being done in relation to DNA sampling and stereotyped studiess”.

The project was promoted by the Hereford Cattle Society, the Rural Association of Uruguay, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, INIA, INAC, Clemente Estable Institute, and the National Research and Innovation Agency (ANII), which, as Aguerre said “has alloted almost two million dollars to this project”, started in January 2014 and intended to be finishing in 2016/17.

Tools of stockbreeding in Uruguay.

Dr. Alejandro Costa Irigoyen, President of the Hereford Cattle Society, considered that this tool means a lot, “not only for the Hereford Society, since this project aims at the improvement of competitiveness of all the Uruguayan stockbreeding industry, as it is implied in its name, and the beneficiaries will be all the users employing the new genomic tool which will generate an EPD for conversion efficiency and also for carcass and beef quality.”

The director of the Hereford Society also assured that this tool means a lot as “it is the most advanced thing in relation to genetics nowadays.” “We created the project in this first stage with conversion efficiency and beef quality measures, but in the future this will probably be a tool for studying other features.”

EL PAÍS / Sunday –