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IIS organizes workshop on good agricultural practices in Alta Floresta

Understanding the factors that influence the decision-making process by cattle ranchers is essential for the promotion and application of Good Agricultural Practices (BPAs, in Portuguese). For this reason, the International Institute for Sustainability, in partnership with the Instituto Centro de Vida (ICV) held the Technical Workshop on Good Agricultural Practices in the region of Alta Floresta, state of Mato Grosso.

The aim of the event was to understand the difficulties that lead farmers to maintain old practices, often leading to soil degradation and deforestation. According to IIS Research Director , Agnieszka Latawiec, for long term success of  a project promoting implementation of GAP, we need to understand the reasons behind  “business as usual” – or the management of the farm in the past.

“If we do not understand farmers´ decision making, a project can succeed for two or three years, the time we are supervising and providing assistance. But often after the project ends, the farmers return to the old practices” explains the expert.

During the workshop the conversation went smoothly between IIS and ICV experts and the farmers participating in the event. “This was one of the best focus groups I have ever organized, the dynamics was very good”, says Latawiec. What certainly contributed to this success, is the good relationship that ICV has with the producers of Alta Floresta and successful collaboration with the farmers when applying projects related to GAP.

Among the topics discussed, ranchers talked about the main difficulties to implement or enhance the use of good practices on their farms. Further, they highlighted the risks of the transition to a better farm management and intensification of GAP.

The responses of farmers will be published in article report about the project in Alta Floresta, which will be released by IIS and ICV earlier in 2014. The work in Alta Floresta is part of the Deforestation-free cattle ranching in Mato Grosso project, funded by the Moore Foundation.

Five cases of success: Integrated Low Carbon Farming in Alta Floresta

The workshop also included a presentation of the results of the Integrated Low Carbon Farming Project. The work implemented by ICV promotes sustainable actions in the beef production chain, from grazing cattle to the promotion of animal welfare, and to the meat packers.

The goal of this Project is to reduce the impact on natural resources and curbing the production of greenhouse gases by the animals, as well as ensure the quality of the product that reaches the end consumer.

The ICV project was initiated from the guidance of technicians in five large beef cattle farms in the Alta Floresta region. The examples demonstrate how the adoption of best practices allows the recovery of pastures and increases in the production of livestock in smaller spaces.

To watch the ICV video which shows the results of the project in Alta Floresta, click here.