The award was announced during Bonsucro Week held in in Ribeirão Preto, Brazil. Muda Cana is a joint initiative between Solidaridad Brazil and ORPLANA, an organization comprising 32 sugarcane producer associations. This is not the first time Solidaridad won the distinction. In 2018, Top Cana, a project in partnership with Socicana, an ORPLANA member association, won the award.
Since 2017, the Muda Cana initiative has provided innovative solutions to small- and medium-sized sugarcane producers to improve their sustainability. The initiative helps associations reduce their costs and accelerate the adoption of practices in line with national environmental and labor regulations.
To date, the project has invested R$ 4 million, supported 23 associations and reached roughly 9,500 producers with consultancy and training, representing about 45,400,549 tons of sugar cane/year produced on 3,791.73 hectares
“This is a token of appreciation that shows we are on the right path, and inspires us to overcome challenges, thinking of joint strategies to add value to the work of sugarcane producers”, said Roberto Perosa, Orplana’s CEO.
As a comprehensive intervention, Muda Cana not only provides technical assistance in the field, it also aims to strengthen services that farmers need to achieve a more efficient and responsible management, improve sector communications, and support generational renewal as producers retire.
ADOPTION OF NEW TECHNOLOGIES
One of these services, “For Farmers,” connects rural producers with entrepreneurs to implement new technologies on their farms. Specialists, who play the role of mentor, hold monthly meetings with representatives at each ORPLANA association to map their needs, contemplate the most appropriate technologies for adoption, and test them in the field.
Participants are divided into groups according to their production volumes to explore solutions that fit their scale. In ORPLANA, about 70 percent of the producers harvest between 5,000 and 10,000 tons per harvest, 20 percent produce in the range of 50,000 tons, and the remaining 10 percent exceed 100,000 tons.
Through Muda Cana, Solidaridad has already introduced Extension Solution, a digital tool that facilitates the monitoring work of field technicians that provide agricultural assistance.
ACCESS TO FINANCE
Muda Cana also provides technical advice, financing and support for the implementation of projects proposed by the associations themselves. This activity began in 2020, with four proposals submitted. The results of the first call boosted the participation, and in the following year the proposals received were fivefold. The selected projects include the development of digital applications and information management systems, the modernization of equipment and tools, and the adoption of good agricultural practices. What is important is that it is an innovative idea. Muda Cana provides support in all phases of the project, from planning to execution, and monitoring.
Finally, sustainable production requires continuity. WIth Corteva Agriscience and Fundación Dom Cabral, Muda Cana offered a training program to encourage family succession among the sons and daughters of sugarcane producers.
One hundred young people participated in the first edition of the initiative taking part in eight months of online classes and working in their family business. The lessons cover economy, agribusiness, family succession, digitalization, staff management, political context and interpersonal relationships, and sustainability.