Jose Perdomo Jose Perdomo

Executive Presidente CropLife Latin America; José Perdomo is an agronomist from Texas A&M University; He worked in DuPont during 28 years, in different positions in the United States, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina; He was a member of CropLife Latin America’s Board in 2005 and 2006, as well as member of CASAFE, ANDEF and SINDAG’s boards; During the last 4 years, José was the CEO for Pantaleón Sugar Holdings.
    AgroPages has recently had a dialogue with Mr. José Perdomo, Executive President of CropLife Latin America. Mr. José Perdomo shared his viewpoints on the industry projects to promote the development of Latin American Agriculture, measures to address pesticide resistance, and disposal of agrochemical containers and etc. Edited excerpts:

    Overview of Latin America agriculture

    Latin America is the largest Crop Protection Market in the world, which in 2014 according to McDougall Services grew 10% over 2013, more than any other region in the world. The trend we expect is of continued growth although probably at a slower pace given today’s commodities low prices but still positive. Latin America having 24% of the world's arable land, its agricultural advantages over other regions (year around agricultural weather, labor, resources, etc.); makes it a key food production player for the future as today around 11% of the world’s food comes from this region (80% of the world’s bananas, 50% of the coffee, 54% of the soybeans and 30% of the world’s beef).  Some experts forecast that Brazil will produce 50% of the world increased food requirements by 2050.

    Promote the sustainable development of agriculture through industry stewardship programs

    CropLife Latin America represents the Crop Science Industry in this region and our focus is being the stewards of this industry stewardship programs together with our 25 country Associations, these programs like CuidAgro® and CampoLimpio®.  Our charter includes advocating for intellectual property rights and promotes the industry role in feeding an ever-increasing world population sustainably. Our CuidAgro® Program is aimed at training small farmers in good agricultural practices and integrated pest management which reached over 200,000 farmers in 2014.  For example, the control of the Helicoverpa Armigera in Brazil and the Mediterranean fruit fly in Central America are successful cases that had the successful participation of farmers, authorities, companies and the academy.

    CampoLimpio® is our container collection and recycling program through which our member countries Associations collected over 54,000 tons of plastic and gave them proper disposal with our support.  

    In addition, there are some other programs directed to small farmers to improve their productivity and profitability through Integrated Pest Management practices and support for a better commercialization.

    Address pesticide resistance by good agricultural practices and farmers training

    Resistance has been reported in different countries and in various crops, not only weeds or insects, but also in Soybean Rust disease. Given Latin America agricultural potential, careful agricultural practices and proper crop-product rotations for resistance management must be part of an integrated pest management strategy.

    Furthermore, as farmers and our society cannot afford to lose the tools that combat agriculture’s pests and miss use the innovation and technology behind them.  A great effort is dedicated in educating farmers which are the one's using these technologies in the end.  Farmers must read labels (or have someone read for them) and understand their proper use by following all label recommendations, use rates, mode of action, rotations and proper intervals; thus avoiding creating or accelerating resistance as nature is constantly evolving and adapting.

    Several countries are committed resources through public-private collaboration to work together in addressing these issues and are successfully managing them. Some industry Associations, such as CASAFE the Agrochemical industry Association in Argentina and ArgenBIO (Industry Biotech Association),  both work in tandem with CONAPRE (National Commission for Resistant Pests), which is the government's agency devoted to manage and address pest’s resistance pro-actively. This cluster of organizations is dedicated to resistance management.

    We believe that proper cooperation; education and correct use of technology will allow the management these challenges while preserving the technology farmers require.

    Dispose agrochemical containers by CampoLimpio program

    Brazil leads the region in 2014 with 96% of its output containers sold returned, triple-washed, processed, and properly disposed off. The secret of their success and an example we are trying to champion in this region is one of a strong government legislation. Brazil has probably one of the best agrochemical container disposal legislation in the world which makes the whole chain responsible: farmers returning the containers 3xRinsed, the distribution chain to carry them back, and the industry to properly disposal of the materials thus achieving this 96% unmatched today anywhere else in the world.   CropLife Latin America stewards these efforts as mentioned earlier through our CampoLimpio Program. Our program CampoLimpio is executed by each of our 25 country Associations in Latin America and focused in advancing legislation, collection and education of the farming community on the proper processes to clean and dispose containers.  Our aim every year is to constantly increase the recovery percent, which is a greater challenge where no legislation exists yet.