1970s. Paolinelli set in motion an innovative sustainable tropical agricultural model, which initiated a profound transformation of Brazilian agriculture.
The starting point was a complete recovery of the infertile soils of Cerrado, a large tropical biome of savana with almost 2 million km².
This biological recovery of the biome allowed the production of valuable foods such as soy, corn, cotton, meat and milk in Brazil midwest.
Since then, Brazil's agricultural productivity rates performed with a Nonstop growth. From 1975 to 2020, production advanced by 384% and productivity by 500%.
To do this Paolinelli put science in the first place. He stimulated research with EMBRAPA and universities. He created EMBRATER for technological diffusion. Knowledge was the keyword.
Food self-sufficiency came to Brazil in the 1980s. The country also became a major food exporter, with positive trade balance of US$ 75 millions last year.
In addition to food self-sufficiency the Paolinelli’s revolution improve Human Development Index (HDI) of agriculture-based municipalities of the Cerrado in 73% from 1991 to 2010.
The sustainable tropical agricultural revolution was brazilian, but it is also viable for other developing countries in the tropical belt.
“Science and research need to be expanded to other tropical biomes, reproducing achievements such as those of the Brazilian Cerrado,” emphasizes Paolinelli.
“It is necessary to have a clear vision of the biomes to set the conditions that allows to produce well without degrading natural resources,” adds the ex-Minister.