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Precision Agriculture for the Sustainability of Agricultural Production System in Brazilian Agribusiness

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The globalization of food, biomass and fiber production requires safety, management and precision. The actual scenario of Brazilian agriculture walks towards efficient production with environment protection. Nowadays, global scale economy made Brazil a world player, when food consumption and renewable energy production has been increased worldwide.

Brazil has agricultural lands, climate condition and technology to help itself and other countries with food and renewable energy supply, as well as presents a demand on competitiveness in forestry, animal production, and commodities (wheat, soybean, cotton, etc..) without loose the sustainability perspective.

The adoption of techniques and technologies with greater precision for adequate ecosystem management can significantly reduce the environmental impact through an efficient input application.

Science can decisively contribute with agriculture through management procedures which use precision agriculture. If adapted to the tropical conditions, precision agriculture should be a permanent innovative tool in Brazilian agricultural fields.

Based on this, recently Embrapa aproved a four years project (2009-2013) titled “Precision Agriculture for the Sustainability of Agricultural Production System in Bazilian Agribusiness”,  which has as general objective the generation of knowledge, tools and technologies on precision agriculture to enhance the agricultural production systems, and to increase the competitiveness and sustainability of Brazilian agribusiness.

The project itself is a network arrangement composed by 214 researchers, 19 research centers, 15 experimental fields, comprising different Brazilian ecosystems and 12 crops (annual and perennial). Hence, several areas of scientific knowledge will be integrated, besides facility sharing, and optimization of financial resources and results.  

As specific objectives, the project has:

To generate technologies for optimization of rational input application, to reduce environmental risks and degradation, and maximize profit;

To analyze causes of spatial and temporal variability of agricultural production systems;

To develop mechanisms and procedures to construct decision maker support systems in agricultural production systems;

To measure the economical efficiency and identify indicators to quantify the environmental benefits as a consequence of precision agriculture adoption;

To transfer technologies and evaluate the adoption level of precision agriculture in Brazil.  

Research, development and innovation will be focused on the responses from 12 annual and perennial crops to the precision agriculture adoption, as well as on the development of tools and technologies to improvement of precision agriculture.

The organization, capacity building and management related to the team activities is under the responsibility of a project management committee, which is also in charge to integrate all results in a data bank.

This project will play an important role in the generation of innovation in precision agriculture to maximize the changing of Brazilian agricultural fields towards efficient production with environmental protection. Academic and extension events will support partnership between private and governmental sectors to enhance precision agriculture adoption in Brazilian agriculture.

 See also: Precision Agriculture

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