Innovation, technology, development and science on precision agriculture were the subjects discussed by researchers and representatives of institutions and companies from the Netherlands in the state of Rio Grande do Sul (Southern Brazil) from September 12th to 15th.
The group visited the municipalities of Não-Me-Toque, Carazinho and Santa Maria, where they met academics, businesses, farmers, local communities and political leaderships. The initiative was supported and organized by the Netherlands Business Support Office (NBSO) Porto Alegre and the Netherlands Agricultural Network (LAN).
Besides strengthen partnerships among both countries, the meetings aimed to present partial results related to a cooperation research project between the Netherlands and Brazil. The main focus is driven by intelligent and sustainable soy production through technology and knowledge integration. The initiative started in 2021 and will go on until January 31st, 2025.
The program started in Não-Me-Toque, the Brazilian national center of precision agriculture. The delegation visited Stara, one of the largest Brazilian manufacturers of agricultural machines with Dutch roots and Cotrijal, an industrial and agricultural cooperative with 8.000 members.
In Carazinho the group visited two important precision agriculture hands-on areas: the Aquarius Project and Mr. Rogerio Pacheco´s farm. The Aquarius Project uses a research strategy called On-Farm Research, in which farmers provide one hectare of their land for UFSM Agronomy students to test equipment and develop new technologies. Mr. Rogerio Pacheco owns a high productivity and sustainable soybean farm plantation combining precision agriculture and biotechnology for the control of weeds on the agricultural system, which made the farm a reference in Brazil.
In Santa Maria, the experience of the Netherlands in digital innovation on Agro & Food (Wageningen University) was the highlight of the meeting with the chancellor Luciano Schuch and members of the administrative staff of the Federal University of Santa Maria (UFSM).
The presentations from Brazil emphasized the technology-base incubator activities for the development of startups and the Innovation Science and Technology Park, managed by Agittec (Agency of Innovation and Transference of Technology from UFSM.) Researchers detailed the Aquarius Project, in operation for over 20 years in Brazil, that has the objective of sharing knowledge for the technological advance of precision agriculture, and has partnerships with universities, private companies and farmers.
At the Polytechnical School, the topics discussed were on the cultivation areas and green-on-green experience vs NDV (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index).
The activities in Brazil are the results of a research consortium partnership idealized after the participation of PhD Mr. Corné Kempenaar, from Wageningen University, in the fifth South American Precision Agriculture Conference (APSUL) in 2019. During that conference it was identified an opportunity for a joint R&D effort that eventually can improve efficiency and smart soybean production helping to increase the global supply of plant proteins.
Check out the participants of the entourage:
Corné Kempenaar, PhD – Senior Scientist Weed Control, Crop Protection, Precision Agriculture (Wageningen University)
Eva de Jonge MSc – Researcher (Wageningen University)
Ard Nieuwenhuizen PhD – Researcher precision agriculture, machine vision and robotics (Wageningen University)
Paul Van de Logt – Agricultural Counsellor for Brazil at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Brasilia
Lucila Almeida – Deputy Representative of NBSO Porto Alegre
Victor Zanin – Hiber
Alwin Meerderink – Rometron
Hendrik Braam – Rometron
Laércio Hoffmann – Syngenta
Luan Pierre Pott – GDM
Guilherme Oliveira – Stara
Telmo Amado, PhD – Professor at Federal University of Santa Maria (UFSM)
Vinicius Marini – PhD – Professor at Federal University of Santa Maria (UFSM)
Lúcio Amaral – PhD – Professor at Federal University of Santa Maria (UFSM)
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