FARMER TRAINING

A closer look at four of SENAR’s
flagship training programmes

Special programme ABC Cerrado

Together with the agriculture ministry (MAPA) and Brazil’s agriculture research centre (Embrapa), Senar has developed the ABC Cerrado project to disseminate low-carbon farming practices and incentivise farmers and rural producers to invest in environmental preservation in the Cerrado, while receiving a return on their investments.

This initiative is supported with a $10.6m contribution from the World Bank’s Forest Investment Program (FIP).

Through training courses and technical management assistance SENAR promotes the four methods of Brazil’s Low-Carbon Agriculture (ABC) Plan: recovery of degraded pastures; ICLF; forest-planting technology, and no-till planting. Between 2013 and 2016, approximately 3,000 farmers and 200 field technicians were trained, 1,570 properties received management technical assistance, and 166 awareness raising seminars were held.

Precision agriculture

Precision agriculture is a farm management system that uses precise farm data to improve the productivity and environmental preservation of the field.

Precision agriculture is based on GPS-directed equipment able to generate detailed maps of the field with a vast amount of information used by farmers to make informed decisions. With the advancement of farm technologies, adoption of precision agriculture today goes beyond farm equipment for maize and soyabean crops, with different tools existing for use across almost all agriculture sub-sectors.

To help farmers better understand the opportunities of precision agriculture, SENAR launched a series of dedicated seminars during the Rio +20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development in 2012. It began by training instructors in a partnership with Embrapa, universities and companies, and is currently offering courses to agricultural producers and rural workers.

Participants learn how best to tailor precision agricultural technologies to their needs, optimising the use of inputs and establishing a culture of continuous innovation in the field.

Women in agriculture

SENAR created the women in agriculture programme to spur interest in farm management and increase female leadership in rural enterprises.

The programme contributes to the discovery of the individual potential of each participant and rural property and teaches entrepreneurship and business transformation skills.

During a forty-hour training programme, women take part in real-life activities to gain access to the critical knowledge needed for their success.

Recent data from the 2017 agricultural census clearly demonstrate how this initiative has already borne fruit: the number of women managing rural properties grew by 46% from 2006.

National Spring Protection Programme

Brazil boasts thousands of natural springs around the country. These provide crucial water and irrigation but require careful management so that they can continue to be sustainably used.

For this reason CNA and SENAR created the National Spring Protection Programme in 2015 in partnership with the rural unions to protect more than 1,700 natural springs. The activities under this programme include teaching five key steps that each farmer must take within his/her rural property.

  1. Identify the spring type
  2. Protect the source and prevent damage from animals, people and vehicles
  3. Clean the area so that nothing blocks the path of the water
  4. Control soil erosion to protect the water
  5. Replant native species by preparing the land for their seedlings

You can find a full list of SENAR’s projects and training programmes here.

(Please note that this site is in Portuguese.)