Calf ranchers based on the Pantanal biome in Mato Grosso can count on a special technical assistance program, which seeks sustainability, the inclusion of small-scale ranchers and the conservation of natural resources. The proposal is being designed between the Association of Breeders of Mato Grosso (Acrimat) and IDH, which are already partnerships in a similar initiative developed in the Araguaia region: the Sustainable Production of Calves Program.
The starting point was the signing of a Letter of Intent between Acrimat and IDH, establishing the interest in working together to design the expansion of the Program for the Pantanal.
Over the coming months, the institutions will work on planning the details of the Pantanal Program, which will start in Cáceres and will be taken to other municipalities throughout the implementation period. To this end, IDH has already provided the necessary financial resources to be used as a counterpart by the private sector in the implementation of the Program.
The goal is to transform small, low-tech calf production properties into high-performance properties.
Acrimat’s economist and consultant, Amado de Oliveira Filho, considers the expansion of the Program an important decision of the Association’s board of directors. “Supporting the implementation of this Program in the Pantanal biome, especially at this time when we are witnessing the serious problems faced by cattle ranchers as a result of the fires that have ravaged properties and killed animals and caused immeasurable financial damage, is essential,” he added.
Through the Program, the ranchers will have access to technical assistance for land and environmental regularization, intensification of production, restoration of forest areas, as well as support for access to investments and connection with the market. All this aimed at increasing income and improving the quality of life of farmers.
“We know that the situation in the Pantanal demands a lot of attention and we hope to be able to contribute to building solutions, with investments and technology to support calf ranchers in the biome,” said Daniela Mariuzzo, executive director of IDH in Brazil and the Sustainable Landscape Program in Latin America.
It is one of the largest flood plains on the planet, recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a natural heritage of mankind. In Brazil, it covers part of the states of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul, extending to Bolivia and Paraguay. The Pantanal corresponds to about 7% (60,900 km²) of the Mato Grosso territory, which is over 903,000 km² long.
Livestock farming is traditionally a low-tech economic activity, especially for small-scale farmers, due to their low investment capacity and access to technical assistance, thereby increasing the pressure on natural resources and making improving the lives of small-scale farmers a major challenge.
In 2020, the biome has been hit by a high incidence of fires, which will demand even more support for the recovery process and resumption of development with special support for local farmers.
The Sustainable Production of Calves Program
The Program aims to change the production and marketing dynamics of the livestock chain to make it increasingly inclusive and financially sound. It is coordinated by IDH, with investments from the Carrefour Group and the Carrefour Foundation, and having as implementing partners Acrimat, in the Araguaia Valley, and the company NatCap, in the Juruena Valley. The program currently has over 251 farms and is expected to reach 457 by the end of 2021. The estimated investments for implementing the activities are 3.5 million euros.