Helping remote farmers
How our 'Aplique Bem' education program is protecting the health of workers and crops across the Southern Hemisphere.
Big companies have big responsibilities and not just to their workforce and stakeholders, but the wider world. We don’t want to be a corporation that talks the talk without walking the walk, and it’s why we’re proud of the ‘Aplique Bem’ (Apply Well) initiative, which was developed and rolled out in collaboration with the IAC Instituto Agronomico.
It was born in response to a survey conducted by the São Paulo State Secretary of Agriculture in the late 1990’s, which revealed over 70% of pesticide applicators had 4 years or less of schooling yet were responsible for the regulation of sprayers in over 80% of the situations. Without appropriate training, there was a rise in poor application, health risks to farmers and consumers, environmental harm, and even pest resistance.
With a focus on sustainability, safety, and waste reduction, ‘Aplique Bem’ began its sprayer and agrochemical training program in 2007. The initiative has already educated around 54,000 Brazilian people in 850 municipalities in 22 states, and received several awards, such as the Best Agricultural Practices Project (ANDEF, 2008 and 2012) and the Best Stewardship Program (Agrow Awards, 2012).
That was just the beginning – ‘Aplique Bem’ has since expanded to Mexico, Bolivia, Columbia, Ivory Coast, Republic of Mali and Republic of Ghana – and it’s our intention and promise to continue and widen our work in improving safety for farmers across the world.
The correct spraying techniques taught 'Aplique Bem' has lead to a reduction in expense and wastage of agrochemicals, while allowing for an increase in crop health thanks to the proper use of product. Vitally, this has also meant that the health and safety to remote and marginal farmers has been brought up to industry standard.
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