Ternium, in partnership with the Association of the Santa Cruz Industrial District Companies (AEDIN) and Organosolo, will donate 30 tons of organic fertilizer developed through wastes generated in the industrial operations to family farmers of Santa Cruz and Itaguaí. The initiative is part of the “Circular Cooperation” program, which is supported by EMATER-RIO, a State of Rio government entity.
The program was launched this Tuesday, 8th, and it’s an action aligned to the Rio2030 agenda and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The event featured the Secretary of Economic Development of the State, Vinícius Farah; Ternium’s Community Relations Manager, Fernanda Cadeias; Ternium’s Environmental Manager, Pamela Reis; Ternium’s Operation and Co-Product P&D Manager, Cristiane Galiazzi; Organosolo’s managing partner, Francisco de Souza Dantas, as well as the representatives of other AEDIN member companies, and farmers from the partner region.
During the pilot project, Organosolo will donate 2,500 kg of fertilizer per month, making it available to farmers in Santa Cruz and Itaguaí. In return, Ternium will donate to Organosolo 400 tons/month of FGD Hydrated Lime for the development of new farming products. The Memorandum of Understanding between the parties is valid for 12 months.
“Our goal for the future is to engage more companies from the Santa Cruz Industrial District in this project, expanding the distribution of wastes and industrial co-products, on behalf of the local community. We want to play a leading role in circular economy initiatives in the region”, said Fernanda Cadeias, AEDIN president and Ternium’s Community Manager. AEDIN has 14 companies in the Santa Cruz Industrial District, including Ternium, Gerdau, and the National Mint.
“At Ternium, we’re constantly developing strategies to increase the use of co-products and reduce waste production. The importance in using co-products as sustainable alternatives is fundamental to promote circular economy in the value chain of steel”, highlights Pamela Reis, Ternium’s Environmental Manager.
Ternium’s Operation and co-products P&D Manager, Critiane Galiazzi, explains that there’s a constant challenge to continually reuse wastes and co-products generated during steel production, which can be used for internal recycling or in other sectors. In February, Ternium set up the donation of 40,000 tons of steel slag for a construction project of the City of Rio that will recover the access roads of the Santa Cruz Industrial District.
“That’s another circular economy application that we seek at Ternium, linking the production activity to the development for society, supporting the local community, and reinforcing the reuse and sustainability strategy for the company”, said Cristiane Galiazzi.
The program is an action in line with the Rio 2030 agenda and the UN’s SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS (SDGs).
For the secretary of the Economy Development of the State, Vinicius Farah, Ternium brings together in one, single action an up-to-date concept (known as circular economy growth), the sustainable use of natural resources, focused on reducing waste and pollution, local economic development, and positive transformation in people’s lives. “This kind of initiative is fully aligned to the kind of Rio de Janeiro that the State Government has been consolidating in the past months”, he said.
Organosolo’s managing partner said that the development of new farming products from the use of hydrated lime to produce organic fertilizers will significantly contribute to increasing productivity and the quality of crops. On the other hand, EMATER-RIO will offer support, so the farmers use the product correctly. In addition, the organization is also responsible for the performed tests.
The organic fertilizer is developed from wastes generated from industrial activities at Ternium.
“Since 2020, we’ve seen encouraging results from some family farmers who used the soil conditioner and fertilizer to cultivate greenery, such as mustard, lettuce, cabbage, and scallion. Besides the productivity increase, the nice-looking leaves were quite appealing, and that encouraged us to try the product with other crops and farmers”, said Magno dos Santos Roza, an Agricultural Technician from EMATER-RIO in Itaguaí and a zoo-technician graduate from the Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRRIJ).
Luis Antonio Moriscos dos Santos, a married 40-year-old family farmer father of four, who owns a 12-hectare small farm in Piranema (a rural area of Itaguaí), expects to increase his output by using the fertilizer that will be donated by the “Circular Cooperation” program. He grows okra, manioc, pumpkin, zucchini, beans, and sweet potatoes. His production is intended for the school meals at public schools, as well as local markets, and companies. “The fertilizer will improve our soil. For example, instead of waiting for 1 year to harvest manioc, the farmer can harvest in 7 to 8 months. And they’re going to load more boxes with a more appealing product”, he said, adding that the use of fertilizer can even triple production.