GeRa Cana - Management and traceability of sugarcane production to rural producers

Name of the project: GeRa Cana – Management and traceability of sugarcane production to rural producers

Call for proposals theme: Climate adaptation

Grant awarded: £50,000

Project budget: £76,400

Solidaridad is an international civil society organisation with over 50 years of experience in developing solutions to make agricultural value chains more sustainable and inclusive. In Latin America, it currently operates projects to promote the adoption of good practices in sugarcane in Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Uruguay, Mexico, El Salvador, and Honduras.

The project is run in partnership with ORPLANA, the umbrella organisation for cane producers associations in Brazil, and APMP Bioenergia, a non-profit civil society association, that brings together producers of raw materials for the bioenergy industries.

Purpose of the project

The GeRa Cana project aims to reduce the carbon footprint of sugarcane production while reducing operational costs, increasing traceability, and increasing farmers’ income.

This project underscores the urgent necessity to support these farmers’ participation in Brazil’s regulated carbon credit market. The reason this is important is that the economic sustainability of this industry is closely tied to managing its environmental impact. Achieving that requires tracking the carbon footprint throughout the sugarcane supply chain. This not only provides valuable data for managing production but also helps reduce operational costs and bottlenecks, ultimately leading to higher income for the farmers involved.

GeRa Cana aims to facilitate this by:

  1. Building capacity of technical teams of the associations, the farmers and their families, through administrative and economic management of the agricultural production, the use of digital tools for measurement and management of the carbon footprint, and fulfillment of the criteria of official carbon certification programmes, such as RenovaBio;
  2. Offering digital tools to APMP associates and technicians for free;
  3. Offering APMP’s technical support to associates participating in the project;
  4. Analysing information on sugarcane production and developing an action plan to improve the management of the farmers associated with APMP.

Initially, the programme will be offered to at least 10 associates of APMP Bioenergy, focusing on small farmers, who most need technical support from the association. 

Photography: Solidaridad

Location

The project will take place in the Southwest of Goiás State, Brazil, where APMP Bioenergia associates operate. It will be carried out on the lands of 66 farmers with 14,025 hectares of sugarcane plantations.

APMP Bioenergia was chosen because it pays Brazilian carbon credits, CBIOS, to some farmers that deliver their production to the Nova Gália mill – in Paraúna municipality, Goiás. That resulted in interest from other associates to participate in the project.

Why this project?

The Bonsucro Impact Fund supports collaborative, scalable and innovative projects that accelerate sustainable sugarcane production.

Scalability

The project has a significant potential for scalability not just among APMP farmers, but also among other producer associations that are members of ORPLANA. Replicating it in other ORPLANA associations will enable broader impact in the vast Brazilian sugarcane sector.

Sharing knowledge, training and digital tools with other associations, can build capacity among more farmers. The replication of GeRa Cana strengthens the sugarcane sector as a whole, promoting the traceability of agricultural production, economic sustainability and additional income generation for the farmers.

Besides, scaling the project will strengthen associativisim and collaboration among the participant associations, thus creating a knowledge exchange and best practices network that develops the sector towards sustainability.

The GeRa Cana can also be replicated in any other place with sugarcane production, either in Brazil or abroad, through Solidaridad’s network in sugarcane-producing countries.

Innovation

The programme fulfils the core environmental and economic criteria for sustainability projects by approaching complex themes, such as reduction of environmental impacts in sugarcane production and generating income to farmers in a simple way.

Its execution will promote the additional benefit of strengthening associations, by being carried out through the technical support of the association and its members, strengthening their relationships.

The programme aims to promote sugarcane as a crop to mitigate climate change, helping sugarcane-producing countries meet their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and generating income for developing countries through the quantification of its soil carbon capture and storage capacity and reduction of the carbon footprint in its production.

Sustainability

GeRa Cana aims to promote environmental and economic sustainability through the traceability of agricultural production by:

  • quantifying carbon footprint by estimating the carbon balance, enabling the evaluation of environmental impacts;
  • evaluating the real costs of production;
  • continuously improving sugarcane production, reducing the productive bottlenecks and optimising the use of inputs, resulting in a reduction in operational costs;
  • assisting farmers to collect and analyse data on production and guiding them towards efficient sugarcane production in both environmental and economic scopes.

The activities implemented by GeRa Cana are long-term and can be maintained through the services provided by technical teams and other farmers’ associations. In the programme, the extensionist technicians of the associations will be capacitated in the criteria for environmental (compliance of farmers to the requirements of carbon emission projects) and economic (rural administration) sustainability.

These aspects will be incorporated in technical visits to the associates, reducing the impact (carbon emission) and costs of sugarcane production.

The programme will also strengthen associations by supporting associates in joining the RenovaBio programme, thus reducing the costs of sugarcane production and generating additional income to farmers associated, and inspiring other farmers to join the association.

Expected outcomes

  • Improved operational management for APMP producers.
  • Better access to the carbon credits Brazilian regulated market for rural producers.
  • Greater awareness and understanding of best practices for reducing their carbon footprint.
Photography: Solidaridad

Bonsucro Impact Fund

The Bonsucro Impact Fund invests in impact projects that address critical sustainability challenges in the sugarcane sector.

The Bonsucro Impact Funds uses income from the sale of Credits through the Bonsucro Credit Trading Platform.

All trades are charged a transaction fee, around 50% of which is invested into the Bonsucro Impact Fund.

Learn more about the Fund and check for grants available here.

Bonsucro Credit Trading

By purchasing Bonsucro credits for sugarcane, ethanol, molasses and raw sugar, companies support impact projects on the ground through the Bonsucro Impact Fund.

Visit the Bonsucro Credit Trading Platform.