Brazil is one of the largest agricultural nations in the world and is expected to grow even more in the years ahead. Sustainable farming is therefore one of the most important issues for all parties throughout the whole food chain. That is why Bayer has hosted its first BayG.A.P. training course in Brazil.
The first two days of the BayG.A.P. training were full of relevant topics such as integrated pest management and food safety.
In Brazil, agriculture has developed more rapidly than in any other country in the world. Whether soybeans, sugar, coffee, or oranges, Brazil is the world export champion for these products. In general, the South American country exports goods with a value of more than 200 billion US dollars and cultivates a total of 248 million hectares of agricultural land. Although there is no shortage of space, farmers still face several challenges: The distance between farms and seaports is long and access to external markets is difficult – as is implementing traceability measures and farm management procedures.
Providing access to the international market
Bayer supports farmers worldwide by providing them with access to international markets and helping them meet the demands of those markets – while also implementing good agricultural practices. In early July, Bayer held a BayG.A.P. facilitators training course in São Paulo together with the Brazilian Association of Supermarkets (ABRAS) and other institutions for the first time. “Our goal was to train the trainers, who are mostly consultants from the fruit and vegetable market,” says Cristiane Lourenço, Food Chain & Sustainability Manager at Bayer Brazil. After three days of intensive training, the 22 consultants are able to explain to Brazilian farmers what sustainable farming means and what the advantages of good agricultural practices are. It is a first step toward obtaining certificates that will open paths to new markets.
During a farm visit, the participants saw what sustainable agriculture looks like in practice.
Practicing sustainable agriculture in the field
From integrated pest management, irrigation systems, food safety, and pollution management to safe use of crop protection products, the first two days of the three-day training session were full of relevant topics for the participating farmers. On the third day, the participants had the chance to put all the acquired knowledge into practice during a farm visit. “That was a real benefit for us,” said one of the participants. This was the first time that most of the participants had access to knowledge about crop protection in an easy and comprehensible way. And with this knowledge they are finally able to go to the farmers and explain how to produce safe food and how to apply crop protection products safely. “Sustainable agriculture is essential to ensure long-term productivity and efficient use of natural resources and crop protection products,” said the participant. “Only with strong partnerships can we really make a difference.”
From now on, Bayer Brazil wants to implement the BayG.A.P. program on a regular basis to ensure safe use of Bayer products and provide the producers with opportunities for business growth.