By Leonardo Gottems, reporter for AgroPages
Jaqueline Antonio, Koppert do Brasil's Communication and Marketing Manager, spoke exclusively to AgroPages about the goals of the company's new web portal (www.koppert.com.br
), introduced last month. Jaqueline also disclosed the company's plans in Brazil, and the importance of biological controls and integrated pest management, as well as whether it is possible for agriculture to be productive and, at the same time, sustainable in a tropical climate like Brazil.
What is the goal of launching a new website that offers a database on integrated pest and disease management?
The website aims to share the knowledge that Koppert has gathered in the last 50 years with researchers, clients, suppliers and collaborators. Integrated pest and disease management, and biological control, need to become well known to Brazilian producers, to make agriculture healthier and sustainable, as well as productive and profitable.
Brazilian agriculture has particular characteristics in relation to the other major agricultural producers in the world. What was the size of the challenge and work to launch the Brazilian version of the site?
It was a great challenge to generate content that would demonstrate the greatness of Brazil. The project lasted for one year before it was completed, but it was already totally customized for Brazilian challenges, cultures and products.
What is the importance of communicating, in an integrated way, the concept of biological control and integrated pest management?
It is to ensure that farmers, agricultural professionals and students have more access to information on how to make agriculture more sustainable and productive. The layout is 'clean' and the design is totally intuitive in the distribution of content. You can download informational materials, folders and watch videos.
Is it possible to have more productive and sustainable agriculture in Brazil?
Yes, this is certainly the work that has been carried out by all the biological control companies in the country. According to data from ABC Bio (Brazilian Association of Biological Control Companies), it is already a reality. Currently, the area treated with biodefense in Brazil includes 10 million hectares. Soybean, cane, coffee, vegetables and fruits are the main crops that use this type of input. And the segment accounts for the annual turnover of R$ 528 million (US$ 164.9 million at the February / 2018 exchange rate).
What are Koppert's plans for the country?
Although 39% of Brazilian farmers use organic products in some area of their plantations, 57% of farmers say they do not know how to use biodefense, according to a study by ABC Bio (Brazilian Association of Biological Control Companies).
Our plan is to reduce this margin of ignorance (57%) by providing information about Biological Control tools and focusing on increasing the portfolio of biological products to meet the demands in the field.
Biological control is important for sustainable, but cost-effective and productive tropical agriculture, including reducing the resistance of some pests and diseases to chemical pesticides. We are present, for large crops such as soybeans, corn and sugar cane, to vegetables, fruits and flowers, but we still want to see many more areas treated with biodefense. This is also a demand of Brazilian and foreign consumers of food, consuming products that generate less impact to health and the environment and, at the same time, at an affordable price.