- Posted by Mateus Ramos
Minister Tereza Cristina (Agriculture, Livestock and Supply) highlighted that the Map is working to stimulate the organization of women in the countryside, by participating this Monday (26th) in the 5th National Congress of Women in Agribusiness.
Tereza Cristina defended cooperativism as one of the forms of organization of rural producers to have access to technology, more credit and productive resources, challenges faced by them in the field. In addition, organized sectors are able to recover more quickly in the face of a crisis, as occurs during the coronavirus pandemic. Cooperatives, for example, received R $ 60 million as extra credit for working capital in the pandemic.
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The minister reported that the horticulture sector faced difficulties in the beginning of the pandemic, due to the closure of open markets, but managed to recover due to having organized. She said she received suggestions, even from cooperatives led by women, on how the resumption of sales of fruits and vegetables should be.
“Where we have the organization, a cooperative with more experience, it becomes even easier [recovery]. Any type of organization is more beneficial, and things happen more quickly and the losses are less, ”said the minister at the virtual meeting.
In Brazil, 19% of rural establishments are run by women, totaling almost 1 million who work as producers, according to IBGE's Census of Agriculture 2017. Most are in the Northeast Region (57%), followed by the Southeast (14%), North (12%), South (11%) and Midwest (6%).
According to Tereza Cristina, cooperativism is one of the lines of action of AgroNordeste, a program aimed at small and medium producers in the region who already sell part of the production, but still find it difficult to expand the business. The minister informed that the Map is encouraging large cooperatives located in the South, Southeast and Midwest to partner with entities in the Northeast to exchange experiences.
The Minister of Agriculture of Portugal, Maria do Céu Antunes, also highlighted the importance of organizations run by women and reported success stories in the production of wine and pear in her country.
The leader of the Alliance of International Cooperatives in America, Graciela Fernandez, from Uruguay, highlighted the strong Brazilian presence in cooperatives and how this type of organization helps in addressing gender issues in the field.
Participants cited the creation of networks to share good examples and initiatives, in addition to the exchange of experiences between countries. According to Minister Tereza Cristina, Brazil will organize the departure of cheese producers to Portugal to learn production techniques in the country.
At the event, the minister stressed the need for rural producers to adapt to the demands of the globalized consumer market, such as the implementation of product traceability.
According to Tereza Cristina, the Map provides protocols with guidelines for rural producers. “If there is no growth in the value chain, [the producer] will be left behind. There is no escape from that ”, said Tereza Cristina.