Alliance One International announced the Phase Two results of the partnership of its Brazilian subsidiary with Bayer Crop Science, which was formed with the goal of providing quality maize seeds and agronomic support to smallholder tobacco farmers in Brazil. Following the completion of the 2021 growing season, participating farmers reported a 15 percent average increase in maize yield compared to the 2020 growing season.
“Due to strong farmer interest, we expanded the opportunity to participate in phase two of the program to 100 percent of our Brazilian grower base,” said Helio Moura global agronomy director for AOI, in a statement. “we distributed 5,700 bags of Bayer maize seed to our contracted farmers as well as provided fertilizer and additional agronomic guidance related to maize production. As a result, farmers reported that they experienced improved crop quality and yield, in turn, increasing the farmers’ bottom lines.”
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. Farmers that participated in phase two of the program earned an average of $270 more per hectare of maize when compared to the prior crop.
“Alliance One Brazil’s contracted farmers produced an additional 5.150 metric tons of maize this past crop year, which is primarily sold for use in animal feed,” said Moura. “Given the threat of a global food crisis, it is increasingly important to help our farmers scale production in order to help offset shortages and high costs.”
In response to the positive results of the program’s second phase, Alliance One Brazil is evaluating the inclusion of additional crops as part of the program and AOI is assessing the potential to expand the program to other countries within its footprint.
“We are very excited about the future of this program and its potential to improve farmer livelihoods not only in Brazil but around the globe,” said Alex Strohschoen, president of AOI. “As we enter the 2022 growing season, we plan to introduce the program to our contracted farmers in Argentina, where a significant portion of our grower base could benefit from improving the quality and yield of their maize crops.”
The improvement of farmer livelihoods is a key priority for AOI. It is committed to maximizing all farmers’ income potential by 2030 through appropriate training in good agricultural practices and the opportunity for crop diversification.
Tobacco Reporter profiled the AOI-Bayer partnership in its June edition (See, “Fruitful Cooperation.”)