“Our activities involve development, promotion and transfer of technologies, knowledge and innovation about geotechnologies and data science.”
Gustavo Spadotti Amaral Castro is the general head of Embrapa Territorial, an agronomist, M.Sc. and Ph.D. in agriculture (plant development) from Faculdade de Ciências Agronômicas da Unesp, Botucatu campus.
Embrapa Territorial developed a methodology for the integrated analysis of Brazilian agricultural and livestock data. Strategic Territorial Intelligence Systems (SITEs) can combine dozens of databases and present results in the form of maps, charts and tables.
AgriBrasilis – What are the main activities of Embrapa Territorial?
Gustavo Castro – Our activities involve development, promotion and transfer of technologies, knowledge and innovation about geotechnologies and data science.
We seek agricultural and livestock intensification in territorial bases, to enable the increased productivity and sustainability of the many production chains of agribusiness at the regional and national level.
All our works begin with diagnoses focused on Strategic Territorial Intelligence, a tool that aims to respond to the demands presented by public and private initiatives.
AgriBrasilis – What are Strategic Territorial Intelligence Systems? How do they help promote agricultural development?
Gustavo Castro – SITEs are instruments for identifying bottlenecks and opportunities, being a competitive differential for the action of companies, public institutions and private agents such as, for example, farmers.
The systems are built from the detailed analysis of data related to five frameworks: natural, agrarian, agricultural, socioeconomic and infrastructure. The detailed analysis of these tables, as well as new information plans generated by crossing them, allows generating responses that will culminate in supporting decision-making, from prioritizing a logistical route to the implementation of promotion programs for needy populations.
The multidisciplinary aspect involved in the construction of a SITE allows it to be used in almost all fronts of our agriculture and livestock.
AgriBrasilis – What types of spatial data are collected to implement these systems? How is this data processed?
Gustavo Castro – All possible data are collected, from vector data, raster data, satellite images, drones, etc. They can be primary data, collected in the field, or secondary, from surveys carried out by other institutions.
On a SITE, there may be data crossing from hundreds of sources. One of the great challenges is the organization, standardization and categorization of this data. After the constitution of this homogeneous database, it is ready for the geoprocessing steps and elaboration of data crossing tools.
AgriBrasilis – What is the influence of Embrapa Territorial research on public and private decisions in Brazilian agribusiness?
Gustavo Castro – Our research center is focused on problem solving. We always work by demand, building tools to overcome existing problems. In this way, we keep constant dialogue with the main players for the assertiveness of policies implementation, whether public or private, for the advancement of agribusiness.
AgriBrasilis – You presented as a priority of your management the improvement of the Embrapa data and information systems user experience. Why was this necessary?
Gustavo Castro – The evolution of our agriculture and livestock does not match static results. A work published in a journal has the function of disseminating knowledge, but it becomes obsolete in a short time, especially when it has a representation in data updated periodically.
We are focusing efforts on a geodigital transformation to offer society agility and updates on our SITEs. In this way, we will always be adherent and relevant in transforming numerical and cartographic data into information, this one with value and potential to support decision makers.