In March, through a partnership between the Presidente Tancredo Neves Rural Family Home (CFR-PTN) Presidente Tancredo Neves Rural Producers’ Cooperative (COOPATAN) and the Brazilian Agricultural Research Company (EMBRAPA) , youth from CFR-PTN started the research work scheduled for 2015, focused on development and innovation for agriculture sustainability.
At the EMBRAPA Manioc and Fruit Production Demonstration Field, a 10-acre reserved area at the Novo Horizonte Farm, head office of CFR-PTN and COOPATAN, the youth from the teaching institution study the products sold by the cooperative, allowing for improvements in the crops they grow: manioc, banana, cassava and pineapple. According to COOPATAN data, after the partnership formed in 2003, the average manioc productivity was increased from nine to 25 tons per hectare. This figure is higher than Brazil’s national average of 14.6 tons per hectare, according to data from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) in 2014.
CFR-PTN and COOPATAN are part of the Governance Plan implemented by the Bahia Southern Lowlands Environmental Protection Area Mosaic Program for Development and Growth Integrated with Sustainability (PDCIS), a program supported by the Odebrecht Foundation together with public and private partners. The Rural Family Home offers technical education integrated with high school, encouraging youth to remain in the rural areas and work with family farming. After they complete the course, youth can join COOPATAN to sell the products from their plantations.
Support For Scientific Initiation
Since 2012, EMBRAPA has developed the Junior Scientific Initiation Scholarship Program in the Bahia Southern Lowlands. In 2014, nine students from CFR-PTN concluded projects focused on promoting the natural control of pests in manioc crops. “It was very gratifying to participate in a program like this one, which is helping all of us to grow,” said Alessandra Santos, age 17.
During the same year, another teaching institution associated with PDCIS began to be benefitted by the EMBRAPA Scholarship Program: The Agroforest Family Home, located in Nilo Peçanha, Bahia, where three youth are developing research on topics related to agro-ecology, forest management and agroforestry yards.