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Embrapa celebrates 49 years and promotes the role of agricultural sciences...

Embrapa celebrates 49 years and promotes the role of agricultural sciences…

Embrapa turns 49 today, April 26, and is making changes to its structure, through the Transforma Embrapa project, and is working hard to contribute to solutions for Brazilian agriculture. One of the latest measures, scheduled for the second half of last year, which is now evidenced by the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, is the strategy to reduce the impact of the high cost of fertilizers. This is Caravan FertBrasil, which will serve regions across Brazil, offering effective alternatives to production qualification. “Science is always Embrapa’s main response,” Moretti says, referring to the nearly five-decade trajectory, which was built from Brazil’s investment in research and which has elevated the country to the category of one of the largest global players in food production and a scientific reference in agriculture.

The anniversary celebration, which will include the presentation of the results in the company’s social balance sheet for 2021, the update of the Vision 2030 document (which sets future directions for Brazilian agriculture), the launch of new technological solutions and the signing of a new agreement. Partnership Strategies, on the afternoon of April 27, at Embrapa headquarters, in Brasilia, in the presence of government authorities, parliamentarians, leaders of national agricultural institutions and partners.

Today, for Brazil, the context in which the company has been listed for nearly five decades is more strategic – and not just for the economy today, given agriculture’s 27.4% share of Brazilian GDP, but for what’s to come. In the case of fertilizers, for example, Celso Moretti says it is possible to increase efficiency from 60% to 70% this year, resulting in a billion dollars in savings for Brazilian agriculture, based on rational use. “Linked to this is a set of technologies that can contribute to reducing dependence on fertilizer imports, such as BiomaPhos fertilizer, which works on the phosphorous present in the soil and makes it available to the plant, reducing the use of phosphates and fertilizers,” he explains.

According to Moretti, the projection is that by 2030, as adoption of alternative sources of fertilizers progresses, the need for imports could be reduced by 25%, or 10 million tons. Brazilian imports are currently 43 million tons.

Still in the scenario marking the company’s 49th anniversary is the possibility that science could support domestic self-sufficiency in the supply of wheat, one of the most important products in food production most consumed by Brazilians, such as the indispensable breakfast cake. “We’ve already been able to develop wheat here that is not produced in any other tropical region,” the president celebrates. Of the annual Brazilian demand of 12.5 million tons, he remembers that 7.5 million tons were produced and the rest can be offset by using the Cerrado regions, thanks to Embrapa technology. Currently, 200,000 hectares in Cerrado are already occupied by tropical wheat crops. “In addition to the local market, we can still help reduce hunger in other countries of the world,” he adds.

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For Moretti, the good prospects that Embrapa’s research brings to the country with wheat also being developed in the Cerrado regions of Roraima will be crucial for the national agribusiness. “Research has been done since 2012, but developments in the past three years are changing the productive sector,” he says, referring to recent tests on three materials for the region, which have already revealed the potential of agriculture, particularly in cycle size. Until the harvest, in only 66 days, and a productivity of three tons per hectare, which allows to produce two crops of wheat in the winter. “Through this research, Embrapa has fulfilled its role, which will help Brazil be more than just wheat self-sufficient,” he says. “We have already mapped the Cerrado and have more than two million hectares of consolidated area available for cultivation, which will allow to triple the current production, and raise Brazil to the category of one of the ten largest wheat exporters in the world,” guarantees.

Connecting to the sustainability agenda

Among the president’s main defenses, with regard to the Brazilian image inside and outside the country, the question of the sustainability of national agriculture is a priority. “It is necessary to consolidate and better communicate what is already being done and the results of this effort so that the world understands that Brazil has always sought to reconcile the productive activities of agriculture and the preservation of the environment,” he adds.

After completing nearly half a century of research, he recalls the salient points of Embrapa’s contribution that drew attention in foreign scientific forums. “Agroforestry systems (AFS), crop-livestock-forest integration (ILPF), no-till, integrated pest management (IPM), biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) and rangeland restoration are just some of the technologies we have presented and their implications abroad.” In November last year, Moretti participated in two weeks of panel discussions and round tables with global representatives, during the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 26), in Glasgow, Scotland, where he had the opportunity to promote sustainability. .

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History of Positive Effects

In the Embrapa track, there is no shortage of reports of positive impacts on the economy, the environment and on the Brazilian table. If Brazil is currently a leader in the international feed market, then the company’s brand is present: 90% of the cultivated area throughout the national territory uses Embrapa varieties, adopted on more than 64 million hectares, benefiting more than 44 million livestock. Technology and innovation in cloning, the largest gene bank in Latin America, research in genetic improvement, possibilities of carbon-neutral beef, digital agriculture and precision farming, encouraging the development of start-ups and development of software and mobile applications has already become a reference in the international scientific community and stimulated the interest of partners in Europe The United States, Canada, Middle East and African countries.

The President highlights that much of this story could have been written thanks to the partnerships: “Throughout history, we have maintained collaborations with universities, research institutions and various sectors of the productive sector, such as cooperatives and producer associations, who have joined forces to ensure that many deliveries to the community were possible,” he comments. Each year, the company signs 86 new agreements and contracts with local and international partners, in addition to executing contracts signed in previous years.

“Even during the pandemic, when it was necessary to adapt the entire business profile of the company, the objectives were not compromised,” the president recalled, highlighting the adaptability and efforts of employees at headquarters and in all decentralized units. In 2021, 564 contracts were executed with the aim of strengthening research and service delivery, with an emphasis on cost sharing, team interaction and acceleration of results.

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Among the latest innovations in agricultural research, the president mentioned the development of the bioinput BiomaPhos, the biocrystal insecticide and its efficacy in controlling caterpillars, and new cultivars of rubber trees, soybeans, guarana, cassava, cotton, wheat and irrigated rice. , Flexible Sugarcane I and II The first genetically modified sugarcane is considered non-GMO, facilitating the manufacture of ethanol (1st and 2nd generation) and extraction of other bio-products. Research with robusta coffee, which adds value and promotes social transformation in the Amazon, Aquaplus platform, a combination of innovative solution technologies for producers and entrepreneurs aimed at improving the management and genetics of aquaculture species, Do Brasil local fish germplasm bank and varieties that generated the most royalties For Embrapa (BRS Piatã, BRS Zuri, Soja BRS 284, Arroz BRS Pampa CL, Trigo BRS 264) also entered the list of results with the greatest impact on national agriculture.

Rethinking the internal organization

While striving to contribute to overcoming today’s challenges, Embrapa is internally involved in implementing a new operating model within the organization. “The purpose of the Transforma Embrapa project is to modernize the company, make it more flexible and efficient in developing its goals, with more productive and efficient teams, while reducing costs,” explains Celso Moretti. As a result of the work of Falcone Consulting, at the initiative of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply (MAPA) with the support of CNA, OCB, Sebrae and Funarbe, the project aims to strengthen the areas of innovation, business, people management, governance and digital transformation.

The new structure provides for the replacement of five secretariats with directorates of personnel, services and finance; governance and management; Business; Research, development and innovation. “The expectation is that, from the new institutional design, there will be a reduction in expenditures of approximately R$222 million per year, in the short, medium and long term, from current expenditures to centralizing company operations and improving the framework.” Once the trusts are eliminated and a board of directors established, the savings will be estimated R$1 million annually,” comments Moretti, when defining the new strategy as part of the maturity of the company’s management.