Russia – Ukraine war: how the adoption of regenerative practices can mitigate the effects of lack of inputs

National agribusiness was faced with an unexpected problem: a conflict in Eastern Europe, between Russia and Ukraine, which could directly affect Brazilian production. This because the country imports 85% of the fertilizers it uses (mainly potash), of which the Russians are responsible for more than 20%. The work, now, is to reverse this scenario, seeking solutions that guarantee less dependence on imported inputs, especially for small producers who, with less cash to compose stock, remain in a state of constant concern with the future of their crops.

What do the experts say?

Some experts say that there will certainly be global shortages (which we are already witnessing). On the one hand, there is already a governmental movement, such as the recent launch of the National Fertilizer Plan, which aims to put into practice actions to balance production and purchase of these products, until 2050. However, new initiatives can be taken more immediately so that in the next harvests, producers – more specifically small and medium – do not reap losses.

The technological packages of Brazilian agricultural production, notoriously depend on specific chemical inputs and nutritional correction to maintain an economically viable productivity. In areas of the Cerrado biome, this need intensifies even more, increasing dependence on NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium). However, our tropical agriculture allows us to think about soil improvement processes that are not exclusively related to pesticides and chemical fertilizers.

How can agroforestry systems contribute?

Agroforestry systems are a real alternative for producers. In general, they are interactions and production processes in a biodiverse system, including poor or degraded sites, involving not only the reconstitution of soil characteristics, but also the recovery of the landscape as a whole and a considerable increase in options in the face of fluctuations in market and climate change.

Agroforestry as an alternative in practice

Agroforestry production meets the current demand for regenerative and sustainable agriculture, in addition to being a strong ally in the process of 'freeing' from full dependence on fertilizers.

Biomass production as an alternative

Biomass production also proves to strengthen this concept. The planting of service species is also important for the production of biomass through pruning, and is used to protect the soil, retaining moisture and creating a microclimate not only for the good development of seedlings, but also providing life in the soil.. Service species also help in loosening the soil, as the growth of their roots percolates to different depths, allowing greater water infiltration. Furthermore, they provide initial shade for species with a longer cycle, and may also be fruit producers and attract pollinators.

In addition to these points, this system lists advantages compared to conventional agriculture, such as the recovery of soil fertility, with reduced erosion, increased water infiltration, and consequently, the conservation of rivers and springs. Also noteworthy is the increase in species diversity, favoring the natural control of pests and diseases and the diversification of production, so that the farmer does not depend on a single market.


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