As it is well known, representatives set the legislative scenario by choosing their new leaders. The Senate elected Rodrigo Pacheco, whose priority is the House independence. The new Speaker of the House of Representatives, Arthur Lira, bets on the approval of reforms, establishing a weekly work plan, more frequent meetings with party leaders, and commitment to the priorities raised.
The Agribusiness Parliamentary Front – FPA – permanently supports this new work plan and has held meetings with the leaders elected to present the Brazilian agribusiness priorities, seeking to bring together demands and commit to the program.
Among the priorities, highlights include the tax and administrative reforms. To support the sector’s future, demands regarding the country’s sustainability and infrastructure stand out.
For example, the sector expects to strengthen sustainability through Law 14.119/21 – National Policy for Payment for Environmental Services. The Payment for Environmental Services – PES – is a marketbased instrument for financing conservation based on user-payor and provider-recipient principles. Those who benefit from environmental services (such as urban clean water users) should pay for them. Those who contribute to the generation of these services (such as rural growers) should get some compensation for providing them. Thus, this tool seeks to conserve and promote proper management through protection and sustainable use activities.
The law, recently approved with vetoes, defines concepts, objectives, actions, and criteria for implementing the National Policy for Payments for Environmental Services (NPPES) to apply resources and the possibility of additional tax incentives that seek environmental sustainability. It also creates the Federal Program of Payment for Environmental Services (FPPES) to make the policy effective at the federal level, without preventing the existence and continuity of supranational public and private initiatives.
The NPPES sets the general guidelines for projects at the public level, and somehow also for the private sector, by bringing definitions about PES and about and who the possible providers and potential payers area. It gives more legal security to programs and makes the law successful because it sets definitions that are broad enough not to restrict the diversity of PES projects that are already underway in the country or make them unfeasible.
FPA is looking into the possibility of overthrowing vetoes, especially those to the National Register of Payments for Environmental Services (veto to articles 13 and 16). PES contracts would enter this Registration under the Federal Program (PFPES), both when involving public and private agents.
Another relevant issue for the sector is Bill 3200/2015 (attached to 6299/2002), which refers to the Safer Food Law. The proposal is important for Brazilian agriculture because it aims to modernize the registration system of pesticides used in agriculture.
The Brazilian legal framework has not kept up with the evolution of agriculture. Back in the 1960s, Brazil was merely a food importer. Today, it is the second-largest exporter of agricultural products globally and may soon become the first. According to Embrapa – the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation – while agricultural land expanded 36% over time, Brazilian agricultural production increased by 268% and productivity by 169%.
o strengthen the initiative, the campaign “Safer Food Law” was launched in 2018. The campaign aimed to educate the population about the myths and truths surrounding pesticides in crops and encourage the Safer Food Law’s approval by the National Congress.
Since the Special Commission’s creation to discuss the Pesticides Bill in 2016, several consultations have been held to debate the text with scientists, physicians, federal and regulatory agencies, society, and the agricultural sector. After its recent approval by the Commission, the FPA submitted the Bill to the House plenary for analysis.
Another recently approved law is the Rural Connectivity (Law 172/2020), enabling government telecommunications projects to be financed by the Telecommunications Services Universalization Fund (Fust) in rural areas. The law seeks to expand growers’ presence in the digital world and contribute to Brazilian agriculture’s modernization.
The use of new technologies allows an increase in productivity in the field. An example is the use of tractors and other machinery connected to the Internet, with GPS, and mechanisms for fuel economy and more effective maintenance that make the difference in farming efficiency.
The Internet can also leverage the opening and operation of new companies, such as agribusiness startups. It can also connect researchers and students of agronomy, zootechnics, veterinary, and universities worldwide to develop further technical assistance and rural extension projects.
Precision agriculture, for example, is a fundamental technological platform to ensure the competitiveness and sustainability of Brazilian agribusiness, made possible with quality Internet access. It also represents social inclusion and a real opportunity to leverage the Brazilian agribusiness in technology and information.
Other topics will also be on the legislative agenda, with impacts on sustainability, such as the 5G Auctions, Environmental Permits, Land Regularization, Judicial Recovery, Acquisition of Land by Foreigners, among others.
Cecafé, as a legitimate representative of the coffee exporting sector and member of the IPA – Institute Think Agro – seeks to strengthen the sustainability plan, which would increase the possibility of projects and programs to support coffee growers.
The PES can be inserted in the context of Cecafé’s training programs, such as the Informed Producer, in which the best agricultural practices have already been taught to more than 7K rural growers. The good practices of the training programs promoted by the coffee exporting sector encompass the importance of water and native vegetation conservation, providing critical environmental services to urban populations and that can be eligible to the PES.
In the same line, the strengthening of rural connectivity will allow the expansion of Cecafé’s presence among growers of the most diverse regions, leveraging knowledge on agronomics, market, beverage quality, and sustainability.
Brazil is the absolute leader in the coffee market. Cecafé is fully dedicated to consolidating the Brazilian leadership, with tangible examples of success to be presented to governments, roasters, and consumers worldwide.
Marcos Matos – CECAFÉ CEO