Program to qualify pesticide applicator instructors was the subject of a seminar on inputs

Federal Government Decree provides that in three years only those who have officially approved qualifications will be able to handle these products

28.06.2023 | 16:32 (UTC -3)
Fernanda Campos

Held in recent days, the National Seminar on Agricultural Inputs included the participation of scientific researcher Hamilton Ramos, coordinator of the Chemical and Biological Products Reference Unit. He gave a lecture to agricultural inspectors from Mapa - Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock -, with emphasis on the importance of applicator qualifications provided for in the Legal Applicator program (Decree # 10.833 / 2021, from the Federal Government). Supported by the same Ministry, the event was coordinated by SBDA – Brazilian Society for Agricultural Defense.

The result of a partnership between the Engineering and Automation Center (CEA), of the Agronomic Institute (IAC), and the private sector, the Chemical and Biological Products Reference Unit (UR) recently announced an unprecedented initiative to strengthen the qualifications of rural workers . UR developed the first EAD module with the aim of training instructors capable of training pesticide applicators and the like.

Linked to the Department of Agriculture and Supply of the State of SP and headquartered in the city of Jundiaí, the Reference Unit signed an agreement with a portal in the rural education area to set up this course. The content is being extended to companies and agricultural professionals, after serving more than 140 students, supported by the sector entity CropLife Brasil.

“With the adoption of the 'Legal Applicator', a program that we support with strong expectations of success, in three years' time only those who hold the 'driver's license' required by the Federal Decree and provided by the Map – Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock”, emphasized Ramos.

“To practice his profession, the pesticide applicator will have to go through a type of ‘technical driving school’”, he explained. “The EAD course was designed to encourage the emergence of ‘driving schools’ capable of delivering recognized effective training to professionals working in crop care.”

According to the researcher, the pillars of the UR course “are the same as those expressed in the National Qualification Program for Pesticides and Related Applicators or ‘Legal Applicator’, resulting from the 2021 Decree”.

According to Ramos, UR's expectation is to attract more than 1 students by 2024. “Today, only between 30% and 40% of product applicators are trained according to good health, safety and technology practices, covering small and medium and large properties. The qualification deficit in the area is high in Brazil.”

Official recognition

Hamilton Ramos also points out that the course, endorsed by the IAC – Instituto Agronomic, is implemented through the Fonteagro training platform. The classes, he explains, are recorded in 11 modules, on safety and application technology, types of sprayers, storage, transportation, pollinator conservation and integrated pest management.

In addition to Ramos, recognized names from Brazilian agriculture teach the EAD: the former professor at Unesp de Jaboticabal, now a consultant, Santin Gravena, specialist in integrated pest management (IPM) and the businessman Luiz César Pio (Herbicat), in addition to the leader of sustainability and stewardship at CropLife, agronomist Roberto Araújo, among others.

LS Tractor February