Providing an environmentally responsible solution to the plastic used in agriculture and training more people in good agricultural practices and responsible use of crop protection products contribute to the fulfillment of seven Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs.
In 2022, thanks to the efforts of the National Associations through the CampoLimpioSM program, 81,500 tons of empty containers were recovered in 18 Latin American countries, which represents an increase of 5% compared to 2021. The determining factors for the operation of CampoLimpio in 2022 were the regulations that require a post-consumer program and the commitment of the various members of the agricultural chain to make the plastic recovery process possible.
Photo 1. CampoLimpio Argentina, CAT in Neuquén, Argentina. Photo 2. Agrequima, Guatemala. CAT built with the support of Rainforest Alliance, Walmart Foundation, and the Users
Association of the La Blanca Irrigation Unit in San Marcos. Photo 3. CampoLimpio Argentina, CAT in Entre Rios, Argentina.
In Latin America, CampoLimpioSM contributes directly to the fulfillment of Sustainable Development Goal 12, which seeks to Guarantee sustainable consumption and production patterns. The widespread recovery of this waste, which includes plastic, metal, cardboard, paper, and flexible containers, does not occur by chance: it involves dedicated work to reinforce prevention activities in educational sessions, where we emphasize the importance of washing correctly the containers, perforate them to render them useless and take them to a collection center. Let's remember that CampoLimpioSM also plays an important role in raising awareness against the illegal trade of pesticide products, therefore, rendering them useless and returning them are key steps for success. It was also necessary to expand the infrastructure with the construction of 15 new collection centers in several countries in the region, and the cooperative construction of new balanced regulations that establish clear rules for all participants, financial self-sustainability and above all, an integrated model.
78% of the rigid plastic recovered was recycled and transformed into new useful products such as plastic lumber, drainage pipes and fence posts, giving a new life to this material. The remainder was sent to furnaces for energy recovery and co-processing. Other final destinations such as container-resin and container-diesel pyrolysis were explored in 2022.
CuidAgroSM promotes the protection of health, the environment and agricultural productivity
In 2022, the CuidAgroSM program trained 264,500 people in the region, contributing to several of the Sustainable Development Goals related to human health (SDG 3) and the protection of biodiversity (SDG 15).
With a hybrid model, CuidAgro prioritized face-to-face educational activities, although some virtual sessions are held as specialized webinars. One of the emerging challenges to advance to quality training is the access and management of technologies by farmers. Several countries in the region are facing problems with internet coverage and the boom in digital agriculture applications.
During 2022, 7,420 certificates were delivered through the virtual course platform on the web and the APP. The preferred courses were CampoLimpio, Pollinators and Biotechnology. At the end of the year we launched a new course to combat the illegal trade in pesticides based largely on the OECD Guidelines to curb this crime.
The protection of pollinators and beneficial insects materialized with training projects in Colombia, Ecuador and Paraguay, where the importance of cooperation between beekeepers and farmers was prioritized; and in the latter country a pilot project was started to promote the planting of living fences as a refuge for pollinators. In Chile, progress was made in a second stage of the augmented reality APP with beneficial insects.
Photos 4 and 5. Workshops of the drawing contest organized by CampoLimpio Uruguay
Another component of the educational offer presented by the network of CropLife Latin America associations is the environmental content aimed at rural schools and colleges. Sensitizing children and teachers is essential to create awareness of environmental protection. With this purpose, Inpev in Brazil, Agrequima in Guatemala, CampoLimpio Uruguay and Proccyt in Mexico reached more than 300,000 people in this educational community.
CropLife Latin America and the network of Associations maintain a proactive dialogue with regulatory authorities, farmers, academia and other sectors to promote and defend regulations based on scientific evidence that allow access to agricultural technologies. Essential topics to advance towards agricultural sustainability.