Amazon Business School Online
In 2018, the Special Secretariat for Family Farming and Agricultural Development (“SEAD”), with the support of the German Technical Cooperation Agency (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH – “GIZ”) and the technical contribution of the Brazilian International Education Institute (“IEB”), adapted and validated the methodology of the “ATER Mais Gestão” Program1.
While the methodology was being structured, it became clear that there was a need for the integration of new methodological instruments to give qualifications to those who render technical assistance and rural extension (“ATER”) services for this new field: the management of enterprises connected with family farming and traditional peoples and communities.
With a view to strengthening the skills and capabilities of the ATER network, making access to the market more efficient and sustainable, and improving enterprise management, the Green Markets and Sustainable Consumption Project – implemented by the MAPA (Ministry for Agriculture and Food Supply) and GIZ, with the support of the ECO Consult Sepp & Busacker Partnerschaft Consortium and the Amazon Environmental Research Institute (“IPAM”) – developed the Amazon CapGestão Program.
The Amazon CapGestão Program2 originally comprises six capacity building modules. These modules build capacity in fields including facilitating participative processes, the economic and financial management of enterprises, the analysis of value chains focusing on gender, ensuring that key chains for the different territories comply with sanitary regulations, market differentiation and business plans. Each module has a 40-hour duration and is based on participative methodologies. The Program follows a teaching method that alternates practical activities within the enterprises and training by means of what we call “inter-modules”. To facilitate the work of teachers and technicians in disseminating and applying the Amazon CapGestão Program, a series of teaching guides was developed3 .
The first edition of the Amazon CapGestão Program (2018-2020) was implemented both with on-site and on-line participation, with the support of the Green Markets and Sustainable Consumption Project (GIZ/MAPA/Eco Consult/IPAM) and with several partners in its implementation4. The Amazon CapGestão Program was put into practice and perfected in workshops carried out in five cities5 in four States of the Amazon Region (Acre, Amazonas, Amapá and Pará). During the first phase of implementation about 250 professionals from 46 municipalities, connected with 59 ATER institutions6 in six States of the Amazon region7 , were qualified. During the capacity building, 69 family farming enterprises received advisory services. In all, about 5,000 farmer families and families in traditional communities benefited from the Program.
The second advanced edition of the Amazon CapGestão Program (2020-2021) was adapted to the online format, among other reasons because of the Covid-19 pandemic. This edition received support from the Humanize Institute and a contribution from GIZ, and was implemented by IPAM Amazônia. This time, the Program focused on 14 municipalities of the southern and south-eastern regions of the State of Pará. Ninety-one ATER professionals were qualified, as well as nutritionists connected with Municipal Education and Health Secretariats.
In the Amazon region, at this time, the Bio-economy and Value Chains Project (GIZ/MAPA) is carrying on with the Amazon CapGestão Program, particularly through the following actions: drawing up a series of five Sustainable Business Case Studies to be used in partnership with teaching organizations, so that the Amazon CapGestão Program is institutionalized, including the RainForest Business School of the Amazon State University (UEA).
The Amazon CapGestão Program is currently beginning to be adapted to the Cerrado Biome through the Ceres Project (Integrated Sustainable Landscape Management in the Cerrado Biome in Brazil and Paraguay Project), which is signed by the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) Holland and the Society, People and Nature Institute (ISPN).
By Cláudia de Souza (CapGestão Program Coordinator)
A program of the Brazilian Federal Government, which offers specific technical assistance to family farming organizations (associations, cooperatives and centers), based on support tools for decision taking. The objective of the program is to improve the different operating areas of an enterprise: governance, people management, financial management, commercial management, production projects management, socio-environmental management and compliance.
2 – Complete information about the CapGestão Program is available at: http://capgestao.ipam.org.br/
3 – All publications are available at: https://www.gov.br/agricultura/pt-br/assuntos/agricultura-familiar/publicacoes/projeto-mercados-verdes-e-consumo-sustentavel
4 – For example: Sebrae/AP, UFRA/PA, IFAC/AC and UFAM/AM hosted the Program in their headquarters.
5 – Rio Branco/AC, Belém and Santarém/PA, Macapá/AP and Manaus/AM.
6 – Advisory Institutions for economic organizations (Associations and Cooperatives) of family farmers, traditional peoples and communities, and for micro and small enterprises.
7 – Acre, Amazonas, Amapá, Pará, Mato Grosso and Rondônia.