Advances of the Institute of Rural Development of the State of Paraná, Brazil

“The State of Paraná practices one of the best agriculture in the country, but presents imbalances that require the strong presence of the State…”

Natalino Avance de Souza is the director-president of the Institute of Rural Development of the State of Paraná – IDR-Paraná and president of the board of directors of the Brazilian Association of Technical Assistance and Rural Extension, Agricultural Research and Land Regularization Entities.

Souza is an agronomist, with a M.Sc. degree in economic development from the Federal University of Paraná.

Natalino de Souza, the director-president of IDR-Paraná

AgriBrasilis – What are the demands of farmers from the State of Paraná?

Natalino de Souza – The State of Paraná is one of the best in the country regarding agriculture, but it also presents imbalances that require the strong presence of the State.

Paraná has problems of imbalance of development between its regions, with some having higher income and some regions with lower income, with a concentration of poor families in rural areas, and problems of soil erosion, the result of inadequate management, which requires targeted technical support.

Some parts of the State show a technological gap between farmers, a fact that justifies the presence of a public institution focused on the social and economic inclusion of the rural population.

AgriBrasilis – What is the mission of IDR-Paraná?

Natalino de Souza – IDR is a State agency with the mission of providing an integrated service of agricultural research and experimentation, technical assistance and rural extension, development actions in rural areas, and expansion of agroecology for quick and efficient production of high quality food. Our objective is to support rural development in the State of Paraná, targeting farmers and their organizations.

“The Institute has a permanent training plan for employees and farmers”

AgriBrasilis – IDR-Paraná presented its first social report in 2023. Is the Institute fulfilling the objectives established during its creation?

Natalino de Souza – We believe that the Institute is fulfilling its objectives. The social balance measures the return provided by a group of technologies that were possible to measure. Others still require metrics for evaluation, which are being developed and applied. This first result was highly satisfactory. Even so, there is still much to be done.

It has not yet been possible to reconstitute our team of researchers, which should occur in 2024. This is a condition to bring the institution even closer to the real needs and expectations of farmers.

AgriBrasilis – What investments have been made in training in recent years? And what technologies will be launched in the future?

Natalino de Souza – The Institute has a permanent training plan for employees and farmers. We have a calendar of rural events, with more than 5,000 technical events in all regions and municipalities. All of them involve training and technology transfer.

IDR plans to act in order to overcome the lack of internet connectivity in rural areas. Furthermore, in the field of agricultural research, the challenge is linked to the rational use of bio-inputs in agriculture and the development of input-saving practices, especially in the case of pesticides.

AgriBrasilis – What have been the results of the “Projeto Alerta Ferrugem” (Soybean Asian Rust Alert Project) in the State?

Natalino de Souza – Soybean Asian Rust is the main disease of the crop. The Rust Alert Project, developed in partnership with Embrapa Soja (Embrapa Soybean), cooperatives, and educational institutions, is an instrument that seeks to help farmers make decisions regarding the correct time to apply pesticides, without compromising crop yields.

The monitoring action for Soybean Asian Rust is based on the use of spore collectors, which makes it possible to detect the fungus’ uredospores, which is circulating in the air, even before symptoms appear on plants.

The later the farmer needs to intervene with chemical control, the lower the cost of the control will be. Results have shown that a 15-day delay for the first application can provide savings of 1.8 bags/ha.

AgriBrasilis – You said that agriculture in the State of Paraná owes its success to the State’s “historical organizational arrangement”. What is the relationship between IDR-Paraná and cooperatives?

Natalino de Souza – The State of Paraná is what it is in agriculture due to the historical integration made between State institutions and private institutions. The State of Paraná, with only 2.34% of the national area, is one of the largest grain producers, the second largest dairy basin in Brazil, the largest national producer of chickens, the largest national producer of freshwater fish, etc.

The relationship with cooperatives continues to be very good, although the large grain, milk, chicken, and fish cooperatives have very well structured technical departments. They do not need our help to assist their members.



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