The implementation of Demonstration Units of Milk from Pasture, implemented by the EMATER-PR in the region of Medianeira, enables the increase of productivity of milk in small property by adopting techniques that encourage the development of quality pastures, using demonstrative properties as the main instrument of persuasion and capacity of regional groups of producers.

After more than 20 years of implantation of the first demonstrative property, currently the region has a large number of producers who adopt the techniques recommended by the project, allowing a significant increase in regional productivity, greater financial viability of dairy activity and the development of agricultural practices that contribute to soil conservation.

 

A - General Informations

 

START: October 1993 (in progress)

EXECUTING ENTITY:  Agronomic Institute of Paraná (IAPAR) and Paraná Institute of Technical Assistance and Rural Extension (EMATER-PR)

CO-EXECUTOR ENTITYAgronomic Institute of Paraná-IAPAR

PRESENTED BY: José Luiz Bortoluzzi da Silva

RESOURCES: Own

VALUE RANGE: Up to US$ 5.000 * (per hectare deployed)

CATEGORY: Project

MAIN THEMATIC AREA: Agriculture

KEYWORDS: Milk from pasture, Dairy Farming, Demo Unit, EMATER, IAPAR, Technical Assistance, Rural Extension, Family Farming, Income Increase, Productivity, West of Paraná, Medianeira 

TARGET: Family farmers and producer groups who develop the dairy activity 

LOCATION: Rural area

GEOGRAPHICAL COVERAGE: Micro-regional

SPECIFIC AREA OF DEPLOYMENT: Municipalities of  Medianeira, Missal, Serranópolis do Iguaçu, Matelândia, Catanduvas, Campo Bonito, Veracruz, Ramilândia, Diamante do Oeste, Céu Azul, Capitão Leônidas Marques, Nova Aurora, Boa Vista da Aparecida e Três Barras do Paraná 

 

B - Description of the practice

 

1 -BACKGROUND

The Government of the State of Paraná, with the support of the World Bank-BIRD in the 90s, drew up the "Rural Paraná Program" focused on the subject of soil and water conservation of rural properties in the State of Paraná. One of the lines of this program focused on soil correction, with allowance for farmers to purchase limestone.

In the town of Medianeira, farmers started the activity of milk cattle, with commercial approach, having as its main focus the animals and not the grazing, bovine feed basis.

Until the beginning of the 90s, livestock production was held in areas unsuitable for grain production, an activity that dominated the regional economy. These areas characterized by the presence of non-arable soils, stony, with accented declivities or swamps. Due to the low quality of the pastures, there was a high volume demand of concentrate, hay and silage, raising the cost of production. The average production of milk at the time, did not exceed 3.3 liters of milk per ha per year.

Noting this fact, the Municipal Unit of the Institute EMATER, through the zoo technician José Luiz Botoluzzi da Silva, started to bet on a different strategy.

The challenge of this proposal was to increase productivity, but for that, it needed to convince the local producers that technological innovations would be suitable for this purpose. With this objective, since 1993, it started the implementation of new technologies in demonstrative properties, which would become a reference within the municipalities for dissemination of the proposed practices.

  

 2 - GENERAL OBJECTIVE

The project seeks to raise the local dairy productivity, with the deployment of quality pasture, through the adoption of technological innovations in demonstrative reference properties.

Specific objectives:

  • Increase the number of demonstration properties, making the service of technical assistance and rural extension provided to local milk producers more effective ;
  • Raise the income of family agriculture through the economic viability of dairy activity;
  • Increase the quality from pastures and dairy productivity;
  • Improve the quality of milk produced in the small property; and
  • Encourage the adoption of soil conservation practices and maintenance of the fertility.

 

3 - SOLUTION ADOPTED

Initially, the technical proposal for improving the quality of forage offered in field, was submitted to a sole producer of milk in the municipality of Medianeira. The producer accepted the proposal of technical recommendations and, in October 1993, was deployed the first demonstrative property of milk production from pasture in the region.

For construction of demonstrative property, the steps described below were followed:

  1. choose the area for improved pasture deployment;
  2. collection of samples and soil analysis of the pasture area to be improved;
  3. application of lime and fertilizer in 1 hectare of pasture as technical guidance;
  4. choice of species of grass best suited to local conditions and planting of seedlings and seeds, with the supply of some forage species recommended by IAPAR, with consequent development of research in the field;
  5. Division of the area into paddocks;
  6. After complete formation of the grasses, the animals are placed in grazing; and
  7. After 2 days of grazing, animals exchange paddocks, being the same fenced for fertilization. 

For dissemination of technology along with other producers, small excursions to the property were organized to present the technologies adopted, main findings and resolution of doubts.

With the activity of milk on the rise, and in the search for lower-cost technologies by farmers and technicians, new producers have adopted the proposed technologies. The other local units of the EMATER Institute started to require guidance on the technological proposal, which was presented through visits to the demonstrative property.

In 1997, through the agreement, the municipality of Missal started to receive guidance from the zoo technician of the project. The service was held on producer groups, once a week, with calendar of activities carried out in the farmers ' properties.

With the increase in the demand for technical guidance in other localities, it was then proposed by EMATER, the implementation of demonstration properties in other 30 municipalities in the region. Each demonstrative property served as a model for diffusion of technological process to other producers.

Seeking to spread the technology proposed, numerous seminars, field days, meetings and regional training courses to farmers and technicians in the region have been carried out over the years.

 

4 - RESULTS ACHIEVED

With the introduction of the technical proposal for improving the quality of forage offered in the field, the immediate results in the 22 demonstration units were:

  • Increase in the number of animals per area unit, from 1.7 animals per hectare, up to 6 heads/ha;
  • Increase in the volume of milk produced per cow: after 3 years of the adoption of the proposed system, the average productivity, which at the beginning was approximately 7.5 liters/cow/day, had an increase of 64% to 12.3 liters/cow/day;
  • Reduction in the cost of a liter of milk in approximately 23%;
  • Between 1994 and 2000, the first demonstrative property deployed had already received a visit from 1,760 producers in the region; 
  • In Missal, where 234 producers joined the new technology proposal, the volume of milk produced went from 8 million liters in 1997, to 22 million liters in the year 2005. In 2014, the production of the municipality reached 28 million liters of milk; and
  • Up to the moment, approximately 1,200 family farmers, participated in outreach events and training related to the project.

 

 5 - RESOURCES NEEDED

Currently 12 extension agents from EMATER work full-time or part-time in the development of the dairy activity in the region. The technicians use the infrastructure of the offices and cars of EMATER for implementing the proposed activities.

Farmers make use of their own equipment, appropriate to the proposed techniques and adapted to the realities of each producer. Similarly the inputs used, are, as a rule, the same used in conventional agricultural activities.

 

6 - TRANSFER

This project started in the town of Medianeira and, after reaching the first effective results and dissemination, through publications of EMATER and reports broadcasted in the regional media, the project was expanded to the other surrounding municipalities.

Currently, it is possible to identify actions that were based on the project of milk from pasture, in other regions of the State of Paraná and even in neighboring countries.

 

7 - LESSONS LEARNED

 Production of milk from pasture demonstrates a great potential to add value to family farming. As it provides cost reduction in the dairy activity, diversification of activities on the property, occupation of the family workforce, collaborating with the permanence of young people in rural areas. In the same way, the adoption of conservation practices and consequent reduction in levels of erosion observed in conventional agriculture, due mainly to the rational use of fertilizers and pesticides.

We can point as major obstacles to the project, the lack of understanding of the rural producers on the importance of planning management activities, translated by ignorance of basic economic data such as, investment, costs and revenues. Similarly, the lack of monitoring of the technical indicators of the management of the property, limits the decision-making process with regard to the activities carried out. Through the methodologies of focus groups (meetings, field days, courses) in the reference units, the project seeks to introduce the records through the use of spreadsheet, to allow the proper management of the dairy activity.

There is possibility of visiting during all months of the year. Number of visitors: maximum 20 visitors

 

 

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