The government is creating a program to redevelop degraded pastures

The Federal Government published an order this Wednesday (06/12) establishing the National Program for the Conversion of Degraded Rangelands to Sustainable Agricultural and Forestry Production Systems (PNCPD).

The plan, created after last year’s election campaign, is the Ministry of Agriculture’s main bet to attract international investment to the sector and to expand production in rural areas by adopting best practices, without opening up new areas and with more carbon absorption.

Details of the program will still be determined by the Interagency Steering Committee, also created by the decree. The document does not consider, for example, the size of the territory that is planned to be transformed, despite the fact that the government has repeatedly spoken in conversion potential of 40 million hectares in ten years. The text also does not mention the values ​​or terms of financing – rules that will be detailed later.

Among the program’s objectives, in addition to converting degraded pastures into areas suitable for the production of food in general (grains, meat, fruits, vegetables, animal protein) and forests, is the fulfillment of national goals to reduce deforestation and restore native territories. vegetation in the country.

According to the decree, the program will allow access to external funding without subsidies or resources from existing rangeland conversion programs. Investments can be made to improve pastures and livestock intensification, to grow cereals on temporary crops or in integrated systems such as ILPF, to plant forests or to implement agroforestry.

The National Bank of Economic and Social Development (BNDES) will assist the Ministry of Agriculture and Food in attracting external resources, according to the decree. In practice, the team of Minister Carlos Favaro and the Institute of Development had already published the program worldwide, but the PNCPD did not yet exist on paper.

The ministry even announced that an event to sign and publish the decree would take place in November, which did not happen. As President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Minister Carlos Favara drove, the document was signed by Vice President Geraldo Alcmin and Executive Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture Iraja Lacerda.

The pasture conversion program will exclusively support businesses registered in the Rural Environmental Register (CAR) and complying with the regulations set forth in the Brazilian Forest Code. Preference will be given to rural properties with a legal excess reserve — the percentage of property where native vegetation is required — and that qualify for an environmental reserve quota (CRA), the ordinance said.

In order to continue to receive support in the program, after ten years of entry, the enterprise must demonstrate a reduction in emissions or an increase in the absorption of greenhouse gases through the use of sustainable methods from an environmental, social and management point of view.

The best agricultural practices covered in the program are the use of bioresources, no-till planting, evergreen systems, agricultural traceability, field labor certification, production certification, digital agriculture and decarbonization assessment.

The goals of the PNCPD are to promote pasture conversion and contribute to the goals of restoring these degraded areas, reducing deforestation and restoring native vegetation, as outlined in international commitments made by the federal government.

According to the decree, the objective is to contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the ABC+ Plan, the National Plan for the Restoration of Native Vegetation, Action Plans to Prevent and Combat Deforestation developed or being developed for the Amazon, Cerrado, Atlantic. Forest Biomes, Caatinga, Pampa and Pantanal, National Biodiversity Policy and National Policy to Combat Desertification and Drought Mitigation.

The program also wants to encourage financial institutions and the capital market to provide financial solutions for the implementation and sustainability of the PNCPD.

The aim is to drive decarbonisation and increase the social and environmental sustainability of the agricultural activities of rural producers in the client portfolio of these financiers by prioritizing agribusiness enterprises that “invest in technology, use good sustainable farming practices, undertake environmental restoration and contribute their contribution to nutrition. security and increasing climate resilience”.

The PNCPD will also establish monitoring measures and actions to reduce the risk that the conversion of degraded rangelands contributes to the expansion of agricultural activities in areas of native vegetation.

The decree published this Wednesday (06/10) also creates a steering committee of the National Program for the Conversion of Degraded Rangelands to Sustainable Agricultural and Forestry Production Systems (PNCPD), which will define the guidelines, objectives, actions and other details of the initiative, how to establish criteria and requirements for financing, which will be carried out at the expense of external resources.

The committee will have 90 days from the date of its first meeting to issue a resolution defining the axes, guidelines, goals and actions of the PNCPD.

The group will also be responsible for defining the parameters for evaluating and complying with PNCPD actions. It will consist of representatives from the Ministries of Agriculture, Environmental Protection, Agrarian Development, Development, Industry, Trade and Services, Finance and Foreign Affairs, in addition to the Central Bank, the Securities and Exchange Commission (CVM), and the National Space Research Institute. (Inpe), Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) and BNDES.

Representatives from the agricultural sector, family farms, traditional peoples and communities and civil society will also join the committee.

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