Brazil has invested heavily in agricultural research and development. Yara has a long history of agricultural research, and has defined innovation as a driving force in business development. In Brazil, Yara has teamed up with leading scientific experts to jointly improve performance.
R&D has made agriculture able to keep pace with a growing world population and demand. Innovation is needed to keep up with global population and consumption increases, also in the future. Brazil is one of the countries that may add substantially to world production. Not only by expanding the country’s farmland, but by continuously improving agricultural productivity.
”We are very happy with the way the partnership with Yara is performing.”
José Antonio Quaggio Researcher, IAC
Much of Brazil’s agricultural growth success story of recent years has been ascribed to the investment in – and performance of – a public research institution, the renowned Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária (Embrapa).
Embrapa’s mission, says Dr. José Carlos Polidoro, one of its senior researchers and an advisor to the Ministry of Agriculture, is to create solutions through research, development and innovation. Knowing the tropical environment, Polidoro explains, Brazilian scientists have developed crops adapted to these conditions, and to manage soil conditions and natural resources. "As a result, Brazil became one of the three largest food exporters in the world."
Brazilian agriculture, like world food production, depends on mineral fertilizers. “Brazil has no chance of success in agricultural production without use of fertilizers,” states Dr. Polidoro. “Today we have four experimental stations with maize and coffee, evaluating the best way to nourish the plants with fertilizer – with minimal environmental impact and maximum productivity and food quality.
In 2013, scientists from Yara and Embrapa jointly started to investigate the benefits of nitrates under tropical conditions. “Yara was the first fertilizer company to show a great interest in the use of knowledge and technology to improve the efficiency of fertilizer use in Brazil,” Dr. José Carlos Polidoro recalls.
The research project ‘Nitrates for the tropics’ aims to generate scientific data on the benefits of nitrogen fertilizers and their value in tropical conditions – in terms of both agronomical and environmental performance. One target is to quantify yield and quality benefits of nitrogen fertilizers in coffee production, and to allow calculation of carbon footprint.
Yara also cooperates with the revered Instituto Agronômico de Campinas (IAC) in São Paulo, which has a strong track-record of contributing to the development of Brazilian agriculture. Nearly ten years ago Yara and IAC teamed up to see how application of YaraLiva Calcinit could help improve citrus yields. In Brazil oranges are a major crop, and the country produces about 75 percent of the world’s orange juice.
Field tests proved positive and have, according to IAC’s citrus specialist Dr. José Antonio Quaggio, resulted in a considerable expansion of oranges grown with the use of fertigation, now covering about 100,000 hectares in the state of São Paulo. “Here in the Agronomical Institute we are very happy with the way the partnership with Yara is performing. It has lasted ten years and we hope that it will last for decades more.”