This proposal has been developed based on three major vectors that had been imposed since the beginning of this process. The first one is of an eminently social and pragmatic nature, considering the imperative need to establish, through the creation of this program, a privileged space for reflection on the development issue within the scope of UFPel. But it is not a question of resuming approaches and concepts that have already been overcome, but of tuning in with contemporary approaches that point to the multidimensionality, to interdisciplinarity of topics, and to the intervention tools diversity in concrete reality currently put into practice by the Brazilian State. The researchers who signed this proposal share, specifically, this concern.
The second vector has to do with professors’ desire, coming from different departments and units of UFPel, in the sense of finding a locus of action according to these challenges. In this context, territory is not limited to a simple cut or dimension of reality, but a way of understanding the multiple interactions that are developed between social actors, institutions, organizations, and economic agents.
In addition to the technical aspects pertaining to the productive chains of economic flows and the forms of articulation within the scope of the agrifood sphere, there is a set of questions that challenge the understanding of the reasons why certain regions become places where innovation emerges while others remain immersed in a state of inertia and lack of dynamism. An interdisciplinary view, according to the proponents of this program, would undoubtedly serve to establish a dialogue between different fields of knowledge.
It is necessary to state that the group includes experienced researchers, from existing programs, especially those that until then were linked to agrarian sciences, as well as young researchers from other areas (management, exact and earth sciences, economics, among others) who aim to make room for professional performance that currently does not exist within UFPel.
It is exactly on this point that rests the third vector which propelled the elaboration of this proposal. Let us see what precisely it means. The Federal University of Pelotas was founded exactly 44 years ago. However, it is worth noting the fact that, in this city in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, important educational institutions such as the Faculty of Agronomy Eliseu Maciel, with almost 130 years of existence, as well as other traditional human resources training centers (law, dentistry, medical school) were already in full operation.
However, it is worth highlighting that the issue of development, in its multiplicity of approaches, has not deserved compatible attention with regional/demands, both in terms of human resources training and knowledge production. When existing, such concern appears in a subordinate, tangential, or even punctual way, within the current graduate programs in operation at UFPel.
The researchers who articulated the creation of this proposal partake the feeling that it is essential to resume the discussion around the university’s social commitment. It is no longer possible to think of this performance in an absolutely fragmented way as has been the practice adopted by the various development agencies and by public and/or private organizations that show total ignorance about the multidimensional nature of the production processes, the generation of several externalities (social, environmental, economic, etc.), as well as the connections that must be established between performers around medium and long term objectives. In general, these were the points around which the discussions revolved by culminating in the elaboration of this proposal to create a new graduate program.
Interdisciplinarity cannot be seen as a choice influenced by the simple juxtaposition of areas and fields of knowledge, but the recognition that only in this way will it be possible to train qualified professionals to intervene in reality and to produce compatible knowledge with these challenges. The trajectory that converged towards this proposal necessarily passes through the attempt to overcome “the obvious”, that is, in the sense of skipping the reiteration, the
recurrence, in short, of the mere repetition of approach models enshrined in the so-called normal or conventional science.
Further information can be obtained by accessing the register of graduate programs of CAPES through the sucupira platform:
Creation of the Program at UFPEL: Ordinance No. 864 of April 30, 2014.
CAPES approval: Official Letter 234-27/2013/CTC/CAAII/CGAA/DAV of December 17, 2013.