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mão de obra


Currently in agricultural production systems, where the farmer has become the entrepreneur of his property, production management is essential to make assertive decisions and guarantee good results.

The administration or management of inputs within the property aims to maximize the use of these(financial, material and human)thus ensuring greater production at lower cost, reducing environmental impacts and contributing to the socio-economic development of the region.

The importance of labor management

In an agricultural system, labor is one of the factors that increases production costs, being decisive for the success of the rural enterprise. In the tomato crop, for example, it can reach more than 29% of the costs (CONAB, 2019) and because it deals with the human factor, it is difficult to quantify, but if well managed it can bring many benefits to the rural company.

 The management of labor is aimed at the efficient use of human resources, therefore, increasing productivity at work. Thus, greater productivity at work can lead to an increase in the company's profitability and greater satisfaction for the farmer and his collaborators.

3 ingredients are essential for effective labor management:

  • Concern about productivity and people: concentrating only on productivity can lead to a reduction in worker production;
  • Understanding human resources management: being concerned about the needs and productivity of the employee is fundamental for effective management;
  • Targeted action: Helps you have a plan with timelines and incorporate ways to measure progress toward goals.

In short, considering the human factor as the primary gear of management success, effective workforce management involves attracting talent, integrating into the work team, good communication, training, measuring results, strategic planning and motivation team's.

It is extremely important to manage the activities being developed on the property, as it is closely linked to the success of the rural company. Monitoring the performance of employees helps the manager to have parameters of the service being provided and circumvent problems related to labor.  

Problems that can be avoided

A report released by the Center for Advanced Studies in Economics (Centro de Estudos Avançados em Economia - CEPEA) in 2015 through the magazine Hortifruti Brasil, showed that the cost of idleness in viticulture in medium farms can reach 28% of production. This is due to the fact that the “market window”, when the focus is on the export of grapes, which concentrates the workforce in a few months. In addition to the seasonality of rainfall influencing employee performance.

It is not possible to have the employee involved with activities 100% of the daily work time, there will always be an idle time, but it is important for the producer to control the cost of labor. Better management of activities will enable the employer to distribute activities over time and allocate employees at the right time, maximizing their service time within the company.

Another very common problem in companies is the lack of frequent communication between managers and employees. The lack of dialogue increases the possibility of errors and the discontent of both parties can justify the high turnover of employees in the rural company.

People need feedback and regular validation helps employees take ownership of ongoing effective performance and improvement of weaknesses. Through the monitoring of activities on the property, the manager helps the employee to successfully transfer his skills at work, in addition to providing training to improve and increase the quality of his service.

Consequente, o entendimento das funções especificas que o colaborador tem que desenvolver evita prejuízos no trabalho, além de trazer a melhoria da qualidade do produto final ao agricultor.

Gestão de mão da obra da Hortify

After all, what are the benefits of manpower management?

The management of labor brings to the employee the feeling of belonging to the productive process. The employee engagement resulting from the management, leads to the growth of the rural company, organic production progress, meeting deadlines, use of safety equipment that prevents accidents, mutual collaboration in the sectors, which will bring benefits not only for the producer, but for everyone involved in the process.
Some of the benefits to the producer of efficient labor management are:

  • Higher productivity;
  • Cost reduction;
  • Higher production quality;
  • Greater satisfaction in the employer - employee relationship;
  • Higher qualification of employees;
  • Lower employee turnover.

Technology in labor management

Considering that the modern farmer of the 21st century, to remain competitive in the market, must also be an entrepreneur, the technological revolution could not be left out of this.

The newest concept that contributes to the agribusiness chain, called Agriculture 4.0, has been incorporating technology information to add greater productivity and reduce costs in rural management.

Companies like Hortify, which through technology aim to automate some tasks, reducing errors and operational costs, facilitate business management in the field. The application covers all activities necessary to increase the productivity of your production, such as management of services and field activities, people management, performance and productivity management, forecasting, scheduling and analysis. The increase in labor productivity with the adoption of this technology can reach up to 30%.  

The implementation of good practices and technology in the management of labor, directly influences the improvement of the employee's performance and is essential for the success of the rural enterprise.

By:  Jennifer Stefani Meira da Silva - Agronomist, Master's student in Phytopathology at the Federal University of Lavras

CONAB, Companhia Nacional de abastecimento. Compêndio de estudos Conab. Tomate: análise dos indicadores da produção e comercialização no mercado mundial, brasileiro e catarinense. V. 21. ed. Brasília: Conab, 2019. 22 p.
DELEO, João Paulo; CARDOSO, Felipe. Mão de obra rural: como produtores vêm gerenciando a mão de obra em tempos de pouca disponibilidade de trabalhadores e salários em alta? Hortifruti Brasil: CEPEA-ESALQ/USP, Piracicaba, Ano 13, n. 143, p. 1-46, mar. 2015.
BILLIKOPF, Gregorio. Managing People on the Farm. 2006. UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA. Disponível em: https://nature.berkeley.edu/ucce50/ag-labor/7labor/01.htm. Acesso em: 09 abr. 2020.


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