Alliance One Brazil has partnered with Bayer Crop Science to provide quality maize seeds and agronomic support to smallholder tobacco farmers in Brazil. Through the partnership, Alliance One Brazil’s goal is to help its contracted farmers diversify their income by strengthening the quality and yield of a crop that is complementary to tobacco.
“Approximately 75 percent of our contracted Brazilian farmers produce maize along with tobacco,” said Helio Moura, AOI’s global agronomy director, in a statement. “By providing our contracted farmers with a high-quality agronomic package for maize, we are helping them improve the quality and yield of the maize crop.”
“One of our company’s top priorities is the improvement of farmer livelihoods.”
During the 2020 growing season, Alliance One Brazil implemented a pilot project with 2,300 farmers to evaluate interest in future program participation.
The team found that farmers appreciated the support and guidance related to maize in addition to the ongoing support related to tobacco.
As a result of the positive feedback from the farmers, Alliance One Brazil will implement this project across its full farmer base throughout the 2021 crop season.
Over the next three years, Alliance One Brazil intends to expand the project to include other crops, and AOI will evaluate how the project could be expanded throughout the company’s global operations.
“One of our company’s top priorities is the improvement of farmer livelihoods,” Moura added. “By providing the necessary support to enhance the crops that they are already growing, we are providing our contracted farmers with the tools they need to diversify their income. In addition, crop diversification is becoming increasingly important as extreme weather patterns impact crop production. We are excited about the potential for this project and the potential for AOI to scale it at a global level in the future.”
AOI is profiled in Tobacco Reporter’s June 2021 print edition.