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Field Day addresses the feasibility of cassava culture in the Cerrado of southern Maranhão, and fosters discussions on support for the goals of the PCI Compact in the Balsas Region

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    Small farmers, university students, and representatives of public and private institutions attended a Field Day that facilitated the transfer of information and technology on cassava farming in the countryside of Maranhão. The event brought together about 40 participants at Fazenda Vão do Cacoal, in the municipality of Nova Colinas, on September 23. The Field Day was held in partnership with the municipal administration and AGERP (Maranhão State Agency for Agricultural Research and Rural Extension), as part of the Assistec Cassava Project, with support from IDH.

    The program included technical lectures on soil, irrigation and the use of the different products and by-products of cassava, held by the AGERP team and professors from UENA and UNOPAR universities. Representatives of the Banco do Nordeste and Caixa Econômica Federal shared information on the credit facilities available to small growers and the paths required to secure the credit.

    The participants also got to know AGERP’s demonstrative showcases, which feature eight varieties of cassava, including landrace and genetically modified varieties. The Agency’s extension experts explained the cultivation process in order to achieve full development of the cassava leaves. The program also included a visit to the cassava field of Fazenda Vão do Cacoal.

    Cassava is a crop present in several municipalities in the region, mainly from small family farms. “Supporting actions such as this Field Day contributes to the dissemination of new production technologies and the promotion of family farming,” said IDH project supervisor Aline Silva, who coordinates the implementation of the Compact in Maranhão and took part in the Field Day in Nova Colinas.

    The event contributes directly to the goals of the Include axis of the PCI Compact in the Region of Balsas, which anticipates a 60% increase in cassava production by 2025, thereby supporting the structure of the value chain, and also the increase in the number of families assisted by ATER programs, within the Include axis of the Balsas PCI Compact,

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