“Bio-inputs generate R$1 billion in Brazil” - Interview with Luiz Demattê (CEO of Korin)
Jun. 19, 2020
By Leonardo Gottems, Reporter for AgroPages
AgroPages exclusively interviewed Luiz Carlos Demattê Filho (CEO of Korin Agricultura e Meio Ambiente), who revealed the size of the bio-input market in Brazil, and how the country is investing in a new national program for this sector. He also talked about the company's positioning in Brazil and its future plans.
What is the size of the bio-inputs market in Brazil and what are your plans?
There are no official data. It is estimated that the bio-input sector generates around R$1 billion (US$186 million) in Brazil per year, already treating over 50 million hectares of agricultural products, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply (MAPA). It is growing in double digits. This is due to the constant search for solutions in a scenario that values sustainable models of agriculture and natural and organic foods. This process is progressing rapidly in Brazil, but it is global. More and more people are looking for foods that are produced without chemicals while respecting the environment.
Why is the National Bioinsumption Program essential for the development of agriculture and livestock?
The National Bioinsumption Program is the outcome of work started five years ago within the scope of the Thematic Chamber of Organic Agriculture, which I head. MAPA understood the need to regulate and normalize the production of biological inputs, as we have used this knowledge for more than a century. The program is important for the sector from several viewpoints, such as plant and animal health, biological conditioning of the soil, and biological production and control environments in the most diverse cultures, which are all vital to the success of Brazilian agribusiness. It is a necessary innovation.
Bio-inputs include the concept of natural agriculture. Nature has efficient mechanisms for production. Through the program, we now have a fundamental regulatory framework to standardize natural agriculture. And the time is right, considering the greater awareness of people of the principles of natural agriculture. It provides the basic parameters for the proper development of this sector. Responsibly and less consumeristic. Bio-inputs are treasures that nature provides us, and we need to take advantage of them.
What is the concept of natural agriculture that Korin brought to Brazil?
Korin Agricultura e Meio Ambiente is a pioneer in the development and supply of bio-inputs in Brazil. The company is based on the principles and concepts of natural agriculture, a system developed by the Japanese thinker, Mokiti Okada, an attentive observer of the phenomena of nature who, even in the 19th century, expressed concern at the methods used in conventional agricultural, due to the excessive use of fertilizers and agrochemicals and the loss of soil vigor, affecting people's health. These teachings were disseminated in Brazil by the Mokiti Okada Foundation and its Mokiti Okada Research Center (CPMO).
They advocate that the excessive use of chemical inputs alters the natural functions of the soil, resulting in imbalances that affect the diversity of macro and microorganisms that are indispensable to the healthy development of plants. Okada stated that the soil has life and that, when its characteristics are modified by chemicals, it becomes increasingly dependent on this type of input. Therefore, the correct use of nature's resources makes it possible to produce foods with vital energy that benefit human health, not only physically but also spiritually. This process creates the capacity to build a balanced and just society. The soil has life. It is not just a mass of minerals. It is a living thing that responds to people's feelings and will and helps to build full, complete human beings to create a better world.
Talk about the company's current positioning in the country and the solutions it offers.
The concept of bio-inputs is new, but Korin has worked with this vision, the philosophy of natural agriculture, for more than 40 years. Until recently, bio-inputs were used in the group's internal projects. The next step was to offer our products in the market. In this sense, Korin is a reference for the market. It is important to note that bio-inputs are not only used for plant production, but also for animal production.
What are the company's plans in the medium and long-terms?
Growing. We are building a new factory in the interior of São Paulo and we have two branches in MS and MT. Still in 2020, we want to open new branches, both in S and NE, and in 2021, we intend to be present in at least two other countries in South America. Currently, we already export to Bolivia and Chile, and we have tests in progress in Paraguay. Our project involves the construction of factories in these countries, as each biome imposes certain knowledge-based challenges. Local understanding is important. Natural agriculture also calls for understanding of the nature of each region.
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