Rural producers from six Minas Gerais towns participated in the Espirito Santo Poultry Family Farming training course offered by the Minas Gerais State Technical Assistance and Rural Extension Company (EMATER), in partnership with the Renova Foundation. The classes were held on July 6, 7 and 8 and were attended by 80 participants from the municipalities of Belo Oriente, Naque, Periquito, Rio Casca and Sem Peixe, in Minas Gerais.
The initiative is part of the actions of Renova’s Resumption of Agricultural and Livestock Activities Program, which has as one of its objectives to contribute to the integrated development of the territories impacted by the collapse of the Fundao dam.
Student Vicente Ribeiro, from Camoes Agricultural Family School, located in Sem Peixe (MG), took the course to improve his poultry production techniques. Vicente is setting up a chicken coop at his own home and, to support him, the school has made available resources it received through BrazilFoundation’s first call for projects.
“In our school, elementary and high school are integrated with a technical livestock curriculum. We spend 15 days at school and 15 days at home, applying the knowledge in our own residence. Then we go back to school to discuss our experience, forming a cycle we call alternating pedagogy. To pass the technical component, we need to write a project. Mine is a chicken coop, I’m putting it into practice now. I attended the poultry farming course to help me with this,” said the student.
For Vicente, the EMATER class was important to improve the structure he is building. “I learned a lot of details that will make all the difference. One thing that I hadn’t really thought about was the pasture area. I had marked the area as one single pasture but learned that the use of multiple paddocks is interesting so as not to deteriorate the soil. We have to rotate between pastures for the areas to recover,” he said.
Increased household income
Poultry family farming focuses on small-scale chicken production, where products such as chickens and eggs are intended for consumption by the farmer and his family. However, one of the objectives of the course is that producers can obtain a surplus, thus increasing family income.
“It’s an important course because it aims to improve product quality so that farmers can have healthy food and sustainable poultry farming. In addition, the idea is that they can have a surplus to sell, generating an income for their family,” explains Marcia Portugal Santana, EMATER instructor who taught the course.
Three thousand eligible producers
In addition to Poultry Family Farming, another 180 courses are expected to take place in the coming months, such as Agroecology, Organic Production and Agroforestry Systems; Cattle Farming (beef and milk); Marketing Management; among other important topics for food production and environmental conservation. According to Renova’s socio-environmental specialist, Rodrigo Bruschi, the courses are expected to benefit about 3,000 rural producers throughout the Doce River Basin.
“Renova believes that producers are the protagonists in the process of restoring their rural properties and in collective construction based on reality. By combining technical knowledge with that traditionally used by the affected rural families, we can establish strategies that optimize the use of natural resources, which contribute to the productive and economic repositioning of their impacted properties,” he says.