Global agribusiness giant Bunge has launched a regenerative farming pilot programme in Brazil starting with 26 producers in the Cerrado region.

Introduced in response to growing demand for sustainable products and to meet the company’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Bunge said the pilot programme had started in the Brazilian states of Bahia, Maranhão, Mato Grosso, Paraná, Piauí, and Tocantins.

A total of 26 soyabean, corn and wheat producers in the region, working on land covering 250,000 ha, had been selected to introduce regenerative practices into their production models, the company said on 1 May.

Bunge said the programme, which involved no cost to farmers, was aimed at increasing productivity and reducing costs by introducing best practices to improve soil fertility and health, increasing CO₂ storage in the ground, promoting biological diversity, improving water retention and infiltration in the soil, and enhancing energy consumption and agricultural input management.

“Our goal is to provide reliable and specific data so farmers can assess the need to implement additional, corrective or improvement measures that support them on their regenerative agriculture journey,” Pamela Moreira, responsible for Bunge, Sustainability in South America, said.

The programme comprised three steps which were customised according to the characteristics of each farm: diagnosis of the farm’s current regenerative agriculture practices; development of a customised action plan; and connection to marketplace, where Bunge would connect participating farmers to supply chain partners who were looking for sustainable products.

To implement the programme, Bunge said it was working with a team of partners, including Orígeo, a joint venture between Bunge and UPL, which would be working with farmers by providing information and technological tools to digitise crop data.

According to a report by Valor International on 19 April, Bunge has 12,000 producers in its supply chain in Brazil, and plans to expand the project, although it has not set any targets to date.