Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul (UFMS) had its origin in 1962 with the creation of the Faculty of Pharmacy and Dentistry of Campo Grande, in the city of Campo Grande, which would be the embryo of public higher education in the south of the then state of Mato Grosso. After the Restructuring and Expansion of Federal Universities (REUNI) program, the institution started to have the Campus of Chapadão do Sul (CPCS), located in the State of Mato Grosso do Sul, in the city of Chapadão do Sul. The CPCS has in its staff professionals who contribute to educational and scientific excellence, with national and international scope.
The creation of the Graduate Program in Agronomy, in the Area of Concentration in Plant Production, took place on the initiative of a group of professors, most of them recent doctors and newly hired by the institution. This discussion was motivated by the fact that these professors came from great centers of human resources training, from several institutions in Agrarian Sciences and the desire to be included in the system of training of human resources and scientific and technological development of the region. The Master degree began its activities in 2012 aiming at promoting crops established in the Cerrado biome of the Mato Grosso do Sul, in addition to those that have the potential to establish themselves in the region.
The Mid-West Region of Brazil, where most Cerrado Biome is located, has undergone major economic and social changes in the last 30 years, which led to improvements in transportation and infrastructure, favoring the development and deployment of technologies in different areas of knowledge, especially in agricultural sciences. Despite the knowledge generated during this period, there is still a lack of information on alternatives for crop production and diversification, which enable biodiversity conservation and promote sustainable regional and national economic development. The region has a natural vocation for agribusiness, with emphasis on the exploitation of large crops (cotton, sugarcane, corn and soybean).
The municipality of Chapadão do Sul has its economy influenced by business agriculture at large and highly technified fields, standing out as one of the main grain-producing municipalities in the State of Mato Grosso do Sul and Brazil. It uses intensively the soil, being great part of the agricultural area cultivated with soybean crop in the summer (season), and maize and cotton in off-season. Due to the high production requirement, it is possible to observe that the region faces problems related to the intensive use of machinery, agricultural inputs and natural resources, such as soil and water, which has generated liabilities that may compromise the sustainability of agricultural production in this region. Many of these problems are also common to other farmer regions of the country, demanding the formation of increasingly skilled and differentiated professionals in the area of plant production.
Agrarian science activities require continued research due to new challenges such as threats of pests and secondary diseases, inadequate management and use of soil, cultivars and pasture, as well as recovery of degraded areas, and more recently the implementation of sugar and alcohol mills, which has demanded new technologies appropriate for the region. Thus, in view of the various technical and scientific gaps in the region, there has been a need for targeted and regionalized research.
The Master’s degree in Agronomy (Plant Production) brings together two distinct research lines: agricultural production and soil management systems, characterizing it as a multidisciplinary program, which favors the agrarian sciences largely because the differentiated academic training and the research developed in our program has subsidized improvements in several sub-areas of Agronomy, such as mechanization, irrigation, soil management, plant physiology, plant breeding, phytopathology, entomology, weeds and seed technology.
The Graduate Program in Agronomy, Master’s degree, is regulated by the following resolutions and ordinances:
Resolutions: 50/2010-Copp, 30/2010-CD, 40/2010-Coun Report: CES/CNE 409/2011 Reported Posted on DOU 227 – Report date 28/11/2011;
Ordinance: 869/2012 Ordinance posted on DOU 129 – Ordinance date 05/07/2012 Recommendation: LETTER Nº 60-5/2011/CTC/CAAI/CGAA/DAV/CAPES – Concept 3 (new course 2012).
The Program underwent the second evaluation by CAPES in the 2013-2016 quadriennium, which was again with concept 3. From the beginning of the Program until November 2016, the coordinator was the Professor Cassiano Garcia Roque. From then on, Professor Charline Zaratin Alves assumed the coordination. At the beginning of 2017, norms were created for accreditation and de-accreditation of professors (Resolution no. 18/2017), which until then did not exist. Thus, there was a restructuring of the teaching staff, discrediting those who did not fit the established criteria.
Professors Luis Gustavo Amorim Pessoa, Marivaine da Silva Brasil, and Matildes Blanco were disqualified for not meeting the minimum criteria established for permanent professors. Professor Vespasiano Borges de Paiva Neto ceased to be a permanent professor and became a collaborator, and Professor Gustavo de Faria Theodoro was disqualified upon request. Among the collaborating professors, Professor Maria Luiza Nunes Costa was de-accredited for not meeting the established minimum criteria, and Professor Fernando França da Cunha was de-accredited upon request.
We point out that due to the restructuring of the teaching staff in April 2017, professors Gustavo de Faria Theodoro, Luis Gustavo Amorim Pessoa, and Marivaine da Silva Brasil do not appear as responsible for an ongoing research project, as they were finalized when they were disqualified (04/17/2017) and they were also not responsible for any class, for the same reason. Professor Vespasiano Borges de Paiva Neto did not teach classes in 2017, because he changed from the permanent professor to collaborator. Professor Morel de Passos e Carvalho did not teach classes in 2017 due to health problems. Professor Gustavo de Faria Theodoro has no intellectual production because he was disqualified in 17/04/2017.
Professors Cid Naudi Silva Campos, from the Chapadão do Sul/UFMS campus and Professor Josué Bispo da Silva, from the Três Lagoas/UFMS campus have been accredited as permanent professors and biologist Ana Carina da Silva Cândido has been accredited as collaborator.
Thus, from April 2017, the teaching staff of the Program was restructured, counting on 12 permanent professors and 3 collaborating professors, remaining within the 30% of collaborating professors recommended by CAPES.
Thus, in 2017 we managed to raise several indices related to the teaching staff, such as the equivalent A1/DP/year which increased from 1.02 (quadriennium 2013-2016) to 1.70 (2017) and the quantity of A1.A2.B1/DP/year increased from 0.86 (quadriennium 2013-2016) to 1.66 (2017). The percentage of professors who reached 0.7 equivalent A1 in the 2013-2016 quadrennium was 62%, and in 2017, 100% of professors reached this value. We also point out that all permanent professors teach and guide at undergraduation too.
We still have a lot to advance, however, we believe we have taken a big step in 2017 and our goal is to continue growing to achieve concept 4 in the next four-year assessment.
In the year 2018, we had the external permanent professor Morel de Passos e Carvalho disqualified on request, for health reasons. There was the accreditation of professor Paulo Eduardo Teodoro of the Chapadão do Sul campus (CPCS/UFMS) in the area of Plant Breeding, Biometrics and Statistics. Of the collaborating professors, there was the accreditation by request of professor Vespasiano Borges de Paiva Neto and researcher Germison Vital Tomquelski; and the accreditation of professor Rafael Felippe Ratke, in the area of Soil Management and Fertility, and professor Ricardo Gava, in the area of Irrigation Management. The program was also benefited by the employment of two visitor professors, one national (Alan Mario Zuffo) and one foreigner, the Cuban professor Jorge González Aguilera, by the Pro-Rectory of Graduation of UFMS. Therefore, in 2018 the program had 12 permanent professors, 3 collaborating professors, and 2 visiting professors.
With regard to scientific production, in 2018 there was great progress on this issue. The equivalent of A1/DP/year increased from 1.1 (2017) to 3.1 in 2018 (Qualis in effect in 2018) and the quantity of A1,A2,B1/DP/year increased from 0.8 (2017) to 2.7 that year (Qualis in effect in 2018). Thus, we see that the change in the teaching staff was extremely beneficial to the program, raising our rates. This increase in the number and quality of publications was due to the greater awareness of professors and students of the program and also due to the financial support to the publication by the Pro-Rectory of Graduation of UFMS.
In 2019 we had the disqualification of the external permanent professors Aguinaldo José Freitas Leal and Nerison Luis Poersch on request. Professor Ricardo Gava of the CPCS/UFMS was accredited as a permanent professor in the area of Irrigation Management. Among the visiting professors, there was the de-accreditation on request of professor Alan Mario Zuffo, due to his approval in public contest (Effective Professor of UEMA) and being able to be appointed at any time from October 2019. Professor Jorge Gonzalez Aguilera’s category changed from visiting to collaborator. The program was also benefited by the employment of a national visiting professor (Acacio Aparecido Navarrete) by the Pro-Rectory of Graduation of UFMS, whose accreditation as a permanent professor occurred immediately. Therefore, at the end of 2019, the program has 12 permanent professors and 3 collaborating professors.
Regarding the scientific production, in 2019 there was significant progress on this issue. The equivalent of A1/DP/year increased from 3.1 (2018) to 3.3 in 2019 (Qualis in effect in 2019) and the quantity of A1.A2.B1/DP/year increased from 2.7 (2018) to 3.0 in that year (Qualis in effect in 2019). Thus, we understand that the changes in the teaching staff were beneficial to the program and we continue to raise the rates. This increase in the number and quality of publications was due to the greater awareness of professors and students of the program and also due to the financial support to the publication by the Pro-Rectory of Graduation of UFMS.