Production Systems

The Sowing Water Project combines water security with higher productivity in the field

Production on rural properties around the Cantareira System can function as allies of the water security of thousands of people and provide greater profitability to producers
Rural producer during agroforestry implementation course in Camanducaia (MG)(SP)
Photo by Tiago Baccarin/Estúdio Garagem
One of the strategies of the Sowing Water Project is to work with rural properties in the vicinity of the Cantareira System. This strategy makes it possible to promote actions that reach the social, economic, and environmental spheres. In practice, the benefits are, among others, increased production, diversification of income sources, a better quality of life for rural producers, in addition to conservation, or rather, the recovery of soil and springs.

In addition to their own supply, the properties have an excellent opportunity to sell their surplus food production, thanks to the proximity of the Cantareira System region to large urban centers. On the other hand, if the population of the metropolitan area of São Paulo, as well as Campinas and Piracicaba, chose to consume food produced sustainably in the municipalities of the Cantareira System, it also contributes to their own water security.

On this journey, the Project’s team shows local producers initiatives that align increased production, better use of the soil, and conservation of water resources with more profitability. Get to know some of them:

Ecologial Pasture Management

Ecological Pasture Management: more animals, less land usage

Result of Ecological Pasture Management in Piracaia (SP)
Result of Ecological Pasture Management in Piracaia (SP)
Photo by Cibele Quirino/Sowing Water Project

With Ecological Pasture Management, it is possible to increase the number of animals without acquiring new land. The central feature of this mode of production is the increase in the quantity and quality of grass. There are producers in the Cantareira System region with 3.7 animals per hectare, well above the national average of 1.15.

Local rural producers have already managed to face the winter – the driest time of the year in the Cantareira System – by feeding the animals only with the grass from the property. The starting point is the division of the pasture into paddocks.

Benefits of Ecological Pasture Management

  • Better grass (quality and quantity)
  • Increased productivity: more animals in the same area
  • Breaking the tick cycle
  • Tick control medications are no longer needed
  • More fertile soil
  • Conservation of springs and waterways
  • Reduction in the amount of land washed away by rains
  • Better rainwater infiltration

Management of Ecological Pasture

Watch the video lesson and check out the opinion of those who have already made this choice

Silvipastoral System

Silvipastoral System: when trees contribute to productivity

Silvipastoral System: when trees contribute to productivity
Silvipastoral System
Photo from CIPAV – Colombia

Including trees in the Management of Ecological Pasture expands the benefits in both productive and environmental spheres. The reduction in temperature, for instance, promotes a series of microclimatic changes capable of influencing animal comfort and productivity.

Discover the benefits of the Silvipastoral System:

  • Increased forage at certain times of the year (especially in winter when compared to extensive management)
  • Better nutritional value of forage for animals, with increased crude protein in shaded forage
  • Thermal comfort for animals
  • Erosion control and increased soil fertility
  • Better use of rainwater due to enhanced infiltration
  • More profitable rural property, with reduced spending on inputs and greater diversity of marketable products: milk, meat, wood, fruits
Agroforestry Systems

Agroforestry Systems: diversification of food production

Rural producer from Nazaré Paulista (SP) takes care of his agroforestry
Produtor rural de Nazaré Paulista (SP) cuida de sua agrofloresta

In the Cantareira System, rural producers who allocate part of their property to the Agroforestry System (SAF) manage to diversify their food production.

The Agroforestry Systems have two large groups: the Agricultural Systems formed by forest and agricultural species and the Silvipastoral Systems, characterized by the presence of forest and animal species, such as cattle.

Check out the benefits of the Agroforestry Systems:

  • Diversity of food for consumption and (or) sale at different times of the year
  • Generation of forest products (oils, resins, firewood, wood)
  • More fertile and unpacked soil
  • Aid in soil recovery and prevention of erosion processes
  • Better water infiltration into the soil
  • Milder temperatures
  • Windbreak function performed by agroforestry
  • Pest control
  • Alternative forage for livestock
  • Better profitability for the property
Forestry of Natives

Native silviculture: planting trees for economic purposes

Rural producers start planning the property with guidance from the Project’s team during a course for producers in the south of Minas de Gerais
Rural producers start planning the property with guidance from the Project’s team during a course for producers in the south of Minas de Gerais
Photo by Tiago Baccarin/Estúdio Garagem

The culture of trees for commercial purposes (silviculture) is also emerging as an opportunity for rural producers. In plantations, it is worth considering both the exclusive model with native trees and the consortium with eucalyptus. In the latter case, the advantage is the potential for economic gains in a short period. For example, the technique around pastures can be used by those who intend to bring temporary benefits to cattle.

Discover the benefits of the activity:

  • Diversification of wood and non-wood products
  • Increase in income
  • Improved soil fertility
  • Developing a more biodiverse landscape
  • Contributing to the water security of the region and the conservation of biodiversity
  • Pest control

Check out the video lesson on Agroforestry and Silviculture of Native Trees