Nuffield CSC Scholar group in Brazil 2024

Image: A group of Nuffield Scholars visit SENAR during CSC 2024 in Brazil

Nuffield Ireland Scholars travel to Brazil for CSC 2024

The 2024 Nuffield International Contemporary Scholars Conference (CSC) – the annual event which sees all new Scholars from all Nuffield countries come together at the start of their programme – was hosted by Nuffield Brazil last March in Campo Grande and Bonito, in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul. This is the 2024 Scholars’ opportunity to seed their own network, with intense exchanges, workshops, cooperative conversations and conferencing, as well as field visits to local agribusinesses and farms, hackathons on business and sustainability themes and more.

It is an exceptional opportunity to learn mutual respect of one another’s cultural differences, and to develop one’s leadership skills. Scholars are being asked every day to do things that take them out of their comfort zone (otherwise known as the Dream Cemetery, as we were warned!).

Nuffield National Directors and Chairs joined their Scholars from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the UK, France, the Netherlands, Poland, Germany, Brazil of course, Argentina, Chile, Japan, and of course our five Irish Scholars. For the Directors and Chairs, it is the yearly opportunity to meet in person, and exchange on common challenges and solutions in the running of the Nuffield programme.

Our first two days, hosted in Campo Grande’s Bioparque Pantanal – an educational ecological facility home to the world’s largest freshwater aquarium – were opened by no less than the Governor of Mato Grosso do Sul State Mr Eduardo Riedel. It was the opportunity to discover the history of Brazil and its agriculture.
After rapid expansion in the last 50 years, Brazil’s agriculture is a powerhouse of food production and exports throughout the world, but also very sensitive to the criticism of the environmental and social record of its agriculture. While its growth remains dependent on deforestation and other natural land clearance as well as significant use of pesticides, the development of double cropping and increased yields is now making a bigger contribution, and legislation is coming in to improve the sustainability of agriculture and farm practices.

Governor Eduardo Riedel opens the CSC 24

Image: Mato Grosso do Sul Governor Eduardo Riedel opens the CSC 24 in Campo Grande Bioparque

Our Brazilian hosts were candid about those challenges, but also keen to show how Brazil in general, and agriculture in MS state in particular, are grasping those difficult nettles to secure market access in Europe in particular.

Our group also heard about the impact of geopolitics and climate change on food systems and on Brazil, and the difficulties inherent in securing business succession, an issue for agriculture globally.

A number of challenges such as hackathons, were interspersed with opportunities to discover agribusinesses large and small, find out about sustainability research indigenous communities, the biodiversity and environment of the region.

To find out more about the event, you might wish to read the document produced by Nuffield Brazil Connections and Solutions: A Transformational Journey achieved through Global Collaboration and our Executive Director’s April 2024 Cúl Dara Consultancy Newsletter.

Our Scholars are expected to write media articles, for publication by the Irish Farmers’ Journal, and Molly Garvey and Niall Hurson have already done so, based on their CSC experience.

See here: and here:

2024 Nuffield Ireland Scholars CSC 2024 in Brazil

Image: Nuffield Ireland 2024 Scholars Niall Hurson, Nick Cotter, Molly Garvey, John Keane and Michael Martin at the Nuffield CSC 2024 in Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul State, Brazil last March

Images from CSC 2024 in Brazil

Image: A selection of images from Nuffield International Scholars visit to Brazil for CSC 2024

Nuffield Scholars in Brazil for CSC 2024

Image: A selection of images from Nuffield International Scholars visit to Brazil for CSC 2024