The Vitoria Project is based on the development of a methodology that originates from the reality of farms, come up with challenges to increase milk production, productivity and income through validated technologies evaluated "in situ" and disseminated to the local farmers, with the aim to provide better quality of production to rural producers.

The methodology allows to demonstrate the milk business viability with enough technical knowledge, thanks to the effective partnerships with collaborators producers, educational and research institutions and the commitment, dedication and persistence of professionals and companies linked to the sector.

 

A - General Information

 

START: August 1998 (in progress)

EXECUTING AGENT: Paraná Institute of Technical Assistance and Rural Extension - Emater

PARTNERS: State University of Londrina (UEL), State University of Maringá (UEM), North University Paraná (UNOPAR), Superior Studies Centre of Maringá (CESUMAR), Federal Technological University of Paraná (UTFPR), Agronomic Institute of Paraná (IAPAR)

PRESENTED BY: Paulo Hiroki

FEATURES: Own

CATEGORY: Project

MAIN THEMATIC AREA: Agriculture

KEYWORDS: Bovine Milk culture; Emater; Productive Efficiency; Family Agriculture; Technical Assistance, Rural Settlements

TARGET AUDIENCE: Rural entrepreneurs, farmers, agrarian reform settlers

LOCATION: Rural Area

GEOGRAPHICAL COVERAGE: Regional

SPECIFIC IMPLEMENTATION AREA: Cities of North and Northwest Region of Paraná State

 

B - Practice Description

 

1 -BACKGROUND

Milk production is a complex farming and livestock activity, with great economic and social importance in several regions of the country and with great impact on regional development. The main technical and economic indicators show survival difficulties of activity in family farming establishments. There is a lack of technical assistance in some regions of Paraná. In 1998, through the diagnosis in 300 dairy farms in the north and northwest region of the state, production of 800 kg milk/matrix/year was observed, which is 1200 kg milk/hectare/year. These numbers showed lack of technological support and economic viability. In the same year, the seasonality of production, shown by the idleness of the dairy industry from July to October, reached 90%. The complexity of the problem resulted from the sum of food shortages (in quantity and quality), low persistence of lactation (zebu herds) and interval between higher birth to 18 months (occurrence of diseases that impact the reproduction).

 

 2 - GENERAL OBJECTIVE

Qualified technical assistance aimed at increasing family income and the development of efficient production systems, through technical assistance in the milk production properties in the state of Paraná.

Specific Objectives:

  • Promote changes in attitude of the manager, his employees and technical staff involved, from mere spectators to promoters that allow the dairy business;
  • Implement and validate routine technical assistance in the areas of food, nutrition, health and reproduction, proposing the use of production technologies already validated by research and established by usage. Assist in the consolidation of innovative technologies;
  • Implement and validate data collection routines and systemic monitoring in Learning and Dissemination Units (LDU's);
  • Consolidate the production of pasture-based milk, with effective and ongoing technical assistance, focusing on strategic management in order to increase income of assisted producers, via improved productivity, quality and form of marketing;
  • Enlarge farmers’ vision of focus for the entire production chain;
  • Empower the farmer, seeking professionalization, with a more dynamic performance in the market. Contribute to the technical structure of training focusing on the productive reality of Paraná. 

 

3 - ADOPTED SOLUTION 

The Victoria Project is a methodological strategy that shifts the focus of the action. The production process, in the dairy property, begin to have assistance in solving its problems. At zone zero, the obstacles are identified and placed in order of importance. The solution comes through the sum, producer experience with the expert help in different areas. At the same time, there is the action of the research establishment, which allows the development of appropriate solutions to the worked production system and to the similar ones.

The starting point is the milk producer groups which have their reality evaluated, when strategic actions are discussed within a matrix of responsibilities and the LDU's that will be worked are chosen. In each LDU, a zone zero is accomplished, submitted to technical experts from Emater and partner institutions. Then it is carried out an action plan composed of technical recommendations of the different areas, prioritizing the proposed technologies solutions  with the greatest economic impact . This whole process, together with the results of LDU's, is spread to the neighboring producers and other regions.

The differential of the methodology is the sequence of diagnosing, planning, acting, monitoring and evaluating the practices involved in milk production. The technical recommendations guarantee appropriate solutions, with actions taking place at the right time. The producer contributor of LDU is chosen by the producer group and should provide ease of access and monitoring of changes. The formation of Victory Project's group of experts, which includes the participation of technical teams of partners, has the additional result the approach of researchers with reality and qualified academic training, besides the formation of technical managers who are responsible for monitor and evaluate the intervention plan with producers. The meetings, guided tours and field days in the LDU's provide "boundless" diffusion of the results.

The observation of the change in the attitudes of managers and technicians, based on the reality applied in the field, has enabled the deployment of consolidated "business models" for north and northwest region of Paraná.

 

4 - ACHIEVEMENT

Highlighting the following points:

  • Consolidation of a methodological strategy of ATER, which allows to demonstrate the viability of the business milk, with sufficient technical knowledge, thanks to efficient partnerships with producers employees, teaching and research institutions and the commitment, dedication and persistence of professionals and companies linked to the department. 
  • Validation of milk production systems (consolidated and profitable business models) that can be used as a reference for other producers in the region as it has systems that have differential technology and management adoption. By May 2013, 260 properties (LDU's) were benefited by the methodology of Project Victory, with 450 trained farmers and specialization of 15 professionals from different fields.

Below comparative data are presented through indicators evaluated in 27 properties during 15 years of project follow-up (between 1998 and 2013): 

  • Reduction of average area destined for milk production by approximately 28% (17.8 ha in 1998 to 12.8 ha in 2013) due to the increase in productivity per area, with consequent release of space for development of other activities;
  • Increase of approximately 46% in daily average production of milk (225.2 liters in 1998 to 328.3 liters per property);
  • Milk production average increase per cow/day approximately 56% (6.31 liters/cow/day to 9.85 liters/cow/day);
  • Increase in the average percentage of lactating cows in the herd from 56% to 76%;
  • Increase of 122% in the average yield of milk (3044 liters/ hectare/year to 6750 liters/hectare/year);
  • Average increase by property of 108% in annual income (R$ 35,378.00 to R$ 73,669.00);
  • 16% reduction in the average cost of production (R$ 0.51/liter to R$ 0.43/liter);

 

5 - REQUIRED RESOURCES

The actions are based on multidisciplinary teams consisting of managers of properties, feed experts, animal health, animal breeding, product quality and management of the activity. Public officials of the partner entities have functional assignment to participate in advice during office hours. Technicians of the private sector, in some cases, are also guided by the companies to operate voluntarily in the Council.

The resources required to meet defined geographic region, considering 120 producers divided into 8 groups of 15 producers can thus be defined:

Human resources: 8 managers, 3 experts (reproduction/health, nutrition and management).

Materials: Computers, GPS, personnel materials, vehicles and fuel. Laboratory equipment, soil testing, analysis pastures, ultrasound and monitoring software. Professionals of the field of agricultural sciences who work in animal and plant health and environmental area.

 

6 - TRANSFER

The direct results within each group and in reference units are distributed to producers groups through monitored visits, technical workshops, special days, field days and seminars to exchange experience. There is constant replication of the solutions adopted by other producers, such as the Florestan Fernandes Settlement, where 12 milk producers "replicated" the food plan of the landmark property.

Resulting from the progress made ​​with the project, we developed a training process in 4 modules which combines the technological content to the process of implementation. This model is being taken to different regions of Paraná.

 

7 - LESSONS LEARNED

We believe that there have been changes considering:

a) Some properties that hold higher levels of technology, productivity reached values ​​above 25,000 liters/hectare/year, showing that there is much to advance and the developed production technology allows for even greater improvements.

b) Statements by producers of the units, which now welcome visitors and describe the work strategy described by producers in articles published by the media (attached);

c) The most significant change is occurring in the attitude of producers, who initially questioned or always put in discussion the amount received by the liter of milk, and today, they talk about marketing and usage of economic impact technologies.

 

 

There is the possibility of visiting some units by appointment with no limitation on the visitors number.

 

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