Diversification of crops

That was the theme of the column that the Chief Executive Officer of BSBIOS Erasmo Carlos Battistella published on the site Biodieselbr. Check:

With the beginning of the Programa Nacional de Produção e Uso de Biodiesel (PNPB) in Brazil, several actions also began for the development of new crops in each region of the country, since with several microclimates a great diversification of species is possible. We visualize many alternatives being improved by industries of biodiesel, as it is the case of palma in the North of the country, castor bean in the Northeast, cambre and sunflower in the Mid-west, mainly in the South region of Canola. All these crops have been developed and improved because of the PNPB.

With the advance in the percentages of the mixture, we need, as an industry, a greater quantity of vegetable oil crops even if we have a very generous offer of raw material from soybean. The great majority of industries have been working on diversification aiming at not being dependent on one vegetable crop only, and this will bring in long term, time, strength and more sustainability to the program of biodiesel.

In the case of canola, specifically, the work, which has been developed in the South, is a much supported action. Canola does not compete with the main crop which is soybean because it is a winter vegetable oil crop. Yet, in the South region, mainly, there is a great idleness of areas during the period that could be used for planting and also because of its oil percentage which is around 36%. This way, the crop has gaining space year by year with the serious work that has been developed.

Now, you might have been asking yourself: why does planting of Canola had not taken off before? The answer must be evaluated by taking into account many factors that prevented the growth of this crop from happening, mainly concerning production technology, financing, agricultural zoning and purchase guarantee. With the PNPB and the installation of industries, as it is the case of BSBIOS, that has made a program which is focused on canola, the issue of commercialization is an overcome stage because the company guarantees the purchase of all production and this way the financing commenced to be developed, thus, when credit agents realized there was an industry purchasing, they began to lend more resources to producers. This was also possible because of the publishing of the agricultural zoning, which is an important tool for the development of any crop in Brazil.

With that, the producer has shown to be interested, and new technologies of planting as well as harvest began to be brought. These technologies were not yet used in the country and are being implanted by our producers through companies that developed adequate equipments, as it is the case of sowing with the use of a disc with special adjustment and also with the use of windrowing and cut and, later, gathering. The consequence is the increase of productivity and the reduction of risks to producers. Then, they are several stages of the productive process that involve all chain that need to be worked when we are dealing with the diversification of the crop.

On 27 of September, the National Opening of Canola Crop happened in Rio Grande do Sul, in the town of Colorado, involving producers, cooperatives, agricultural technicians, agronomists, researchers, financing agents, industries of equipments and biodiesel production. The activity marked the beginning of Canola crop that must last until the first fortnight of November. This year, nearly 15.000 ha were developed by BSBIOS only, in 60 towns of Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina and Paraná, what demonstrates a considerable growth of the crop.

What I would like to emphasize is that I used the case of canola as an example, but it serves for all other crops that have been worked in Brazil as diversification to the PNPB. With biodiesel we create employment in all productive chain, because when a new crop is implanted you need the development of equipment industries, logistics, seeds, pesticides, investment in fertilizers, industry of processes and sorting and, mainly, commercialization of products and sub-products produced.

Therefore, the PNPB, besides producing clean energy, generates employment and aggregates value to the production chain, and this is very important for a renewable fuel that tends to have an even greater percentage of addition. What can be seen is that the program is managing to generate employment and income by bringing in foreign exchanges to Brazil in the entire productive chain.