The adoption of sustainable practices by farmers can bring more efficiency to the agricultural system, promoting the improvement of income in the countryside. The benefits go beyond reducing emissions, including adapting agriculture, making it more resilient and promoting balance of production systems, with fewer impacts due to climate change. It also seeks to generate a higher productivity due to the most appropriate management, reverting in greater profitability of production and also improving the quality of life of the farmer.
Brazilian agriculture already employs several good practices that are adaptors of agriculture, which can bring gains in technical and productive efficiency and also higher income for the farmer. “These practices could be more successful with the payment for the environmental co-benefits associated with them, in particular the reduction of emissions and the increase in carbon capture in agricultural soils,” explains Giampaolo Pellegrino, a researcher at the Brazilian Agricultural Research Company (Embrapa) and president of the company’s Climate Change Portfolio.
In this sense, Embrapa and Bayer are establishing a technical cooperation to support the consolidation of a specific carbon market for Brazilian agriculture. The objective of the public-private partnership is to invest in scientific research actions to reduce uncertainties and cost in quantifying the carbon balance by soybean and corn producers, thus enabling the remuneration of these farmers for the environmental benefits produced by reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
“The purpose is to contribute to the valorization, and consequent economic benefit for the farmer, of the adoption of more sustainable agricultural practices, with more favorable carbon balances, through the definition and evaluation of protocols to estimate, design and monitor the dynamics and carbon balance in production systems of these crops,” says Embrapa researcher Luís Gustavo Barioni.
In Brazil, approximately 500 rural producers were selected, located in 14 Brazilian states (RS, SC, PR, SP, MG, MS, GO, MT, RO, TO, PA, BA, PI, MA), with crops mainly of soybeans and corn.
This initiative, called “Pilot assessment of the carbon balance in corn and soybean production in South-Central Brazil: Bayer and Embrapa cooperation for sustainable development” will be conducted with the participation of three Embrapa research centers in the state of São Paulo: Embrapa Informática Agropecuária (Campinas, SP), Embrapa Instrumentação (São Carlos, SP) and Embrapa Ambiente (Jaguariúna, SP). The pilot research project covers the 2020/2021 agricultural year, lasting 12 months.