Irrigation, producer appreciation and alignment with the environment will be priorities in the management of the new secretary

The new Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock and Rural Development (Seapdr), Domingos Velho Lopes, sworn in yesterday in an act led by Governor Ranolfo Vieira Júnior, begins his administration with the goals of promoting irrigation and expanding water reserves in Rio Grande do Sul. , the alignment of the productive activity with the environment and the valorization of the rural producer. The appointment of the new holder of the portfolio was published in the Official State Gazette this Monday (4/4). He replaces Silvana Covatti, who left Seapdr on March 31.

According to Lopes, the Secretary of Agriculture will be open to the construction of solutions for the different demands of rural producers. “We will do our best and exhaust all technical and legal possibilities to resolve the difficulties,” he said.

By highlighting that he intends to work to enhance the image of the rural producer before public opinion, regardless of his size and culture, Lopes says he takes on the challenge with tranquility. “It is our métier to deal with agricultural things, with environmental activities. Even with all the difficulties involved in the dry season in Rio Grande do Sul, we are sure that, with a lot of dialogue, a lot of science and a lot of technique, we will achieve the goals”.

Among the actions that will have priority at Seapdr, Lopes says that there is the alignment of productive activity with the area of ​​the environment, dialoguing with the gaucho society about the importance of sustainable production. To this end, the Ministry of Environment and Infrastructure (Sema) will seek to regulate the use of the Pampa Biome, generating a legal consensus between food production and environmental preservation of the biome. “This will be the keynote that we will give in our management, with a synergistic effect between the subjects”.

Lopes also states that he will pay special attention to structuring issues to resolve obstacles involving irrigation. Currently, the irrigated rainfed area in the state is about 235 thousand hectares, with great potential to increase this number. As part of the Advance in Agriculture and Rural Development, the State will invest R$ 201.4 million to improve irrigation, through the excavation of artesian wells, construction of micro-dams, installation of cisterns and subsidies for irrigation projects. “We are going to look for long-term structures so that we no longer have to face problems during the droughts. Let’s unite the entities in favor of irrigation”, he highlighted.

At the inauguration, Governor Ranolfo reinforced that the agricultural sector will continue with a different perspective. He pointed out that, in addition to Advancing, which will inject a total of R$ 275.9 million in the rural areas of Rio Grande do Sul, the need for a structuring project in the medium and long term is already aligned with the new secretary. “We have seen that the drought has been present more frequently and more sharply in the state. If next year we have a super harvest, we cannot forget about the water shortage”, said Ranolfo.


Born in Porto Alegre, Domingos Antonio Velho Lopes is an agronomist graduated from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (Ufrgs) and has been a rural producer since 1992, working in Mostardas and Palmares do Sul with his family.

He began his institutional activity in 1997 as president of the Rural Union of Mostardas. In 2000, he joined the board of the Federation of Agriculture of Rio Grande do Sul (Farsul). In 2003, within the entity, he participated in the Federation’s Rice Commission.

In 2016, Lopes was honored with the Assis Brasil Medal, during Expointer, for services rendered to agriculture in Rio Grande do Sul. The following year, he took over the Farsul Environment Commission and was led to the presidency of the entity’s Superior Council.

Currently, he held the position of vice-president director of the Federation of Agriculture, president of the Rural Union of Mustards, president of the River Basin Committee of the Middle Coast and assistant coordinator of the Gaucho Forum of Basin Committees. He is a member of the State Council for the Environment, the State Council for Water Resources and the State Council for Basic Sanitation. He is also a member of the Environment Council of the Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock of Brazil (CNA). He is married to veterinarian Dulce and father of Manuela and Domingos Neto.

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