The Master course in Irrigated Horticulture, located in the Department of Technology and Social Sciences (DTCS), Juazeiro-BA was conceived in the late 1990s. However, it did not obtain approval due to the lack of infrastructure and teacher qualification at the time, a situation that was common in the various Departments of the State University of Bahia (UNEB). In 2002, the course question was taken up by some PhD professors from the Department and, at that time, with the participation of an informal ad hoc professor at the Paulista State University from Botucatu (UNESP-Botucatu) who had good experience with CAPES as an advisor. All weaknesses were considered with the Department’s Directorate and Rectory at the time and it was a question of removing existing obstacles.
Initially, the great need to increase the critical mass of professors who could collaborate with the program was considered and, in this context, an agreement was made between UNEB and UNESP-Botucatu for the formation, at the doctoral level, of eight professors, being six from DTCS and two from Embrapa Semiárido, with face-to-face classes taught in this Department and preparation of relevant theses for irrigated agriculture in the production hub of Juazeiro-BA and Petrolina-PE. During this period it was of great significance for the construction of a mode of operation that is very relevant for the creation of stricto sensu postgraduate environments, as the professors dedicated themselves in a very applied way to the activities of the doctorate and, this caused a great impact for other teachers and, especially for students who began to observe a great dedication of teachers to studies and the development of thesis activities. In fact, it was at that time that the teachers realized that the conditions for carrying out research in the Department already allowed the execution of many relevant researches, a fact that was not seen by them, since all the research activities that were imagined in the DTCS, they were always designed to be carried out at Embrapa Semiárido, which had a good research infrastructure. All these were successfully developed, including the participation of some farmers, where some research was conducted.
Another relevant aspect of the course design in its new form was to focus on irrigated agriculture at the Juazeiro-BA and Petrolina-PE center, which houses a strong and very dynamic agriculture where horticulture (vegetables and fruit trees) is practiced with great application of knowledge. agronomic, because this region exports products to consumer centers in the country and abroad and, thus, farmers need to meet the basic quality requirements so that it can continue, mainly to the foreign market. In a second step, the course may expand the focus to other irrigation projects in the Brazilian semiarid, allowing the training of young people from other places, which is already beginning to occur in the selections that host participants from other places.
With regard to infrastructure, the renovation of an old mansion was carried out, which housed the course, thus having a specific environment to allow students to live together during the course and which has been shown to be very appropriate. In a third aspect, management was made with the Research Dean at the time to improve computer resources in order to have access to CAPES journals and other relevant information for consultation of bibliographies in the DTCS. A fourth aspect was the intercession of the Board of Directors at the time so that in the new competition that took place vacancies would open up for some doctors who could participate in the undergraduate course, however, they could also work in the Master’s course, thus having obtained two new doctors, one for the area of Tropical Fruit and another for the area of Soil Microbiology.
Thus, in 2005 the new proposal was submitted to CAPES and was approved at the beginning of 2006, and the first group started work in August of the same year and from then on, every year a new class has been selected and already being so in the ninth class. The course has already reached the hundredth dissertation defended and many of them focused on irrigated agriculture in the pole and new PhD professors with good scientific production are joining the team of professors, always in the direction of strengthening the course’s research lines.
It has several integration initiatives with other Universities (UNESP-Botucatu in the area of plant physiology; Federal Rural University of the Semi-arid (UFERSA), in Mossoró-RN, State University of Feira de Santana (UEFS) and Federal University of Paraíba (UFPB) in the area of improvement of horticultural species), as well as diverse interfaces with professors from the University of Vale do São Francisco (UNIVASF), from Embrapa Semiárido and from the University of Pernambuco (UPE) so that some teachers are participating in other courses as collaborators and this has allowed the integration between different students participating in disciplines offered in the Master of Irrigated Horticulture.
The Master’s course of the Graduate Program in Agronomy: Irrigated Horticulture (PPGHI), recommended in 2006, aims to train professionals who are dedicated to the production of relevant knowledge in the productive chains of vegetables and fruit, the main crops produced in the irrigated semi-arid region of Bahia, and by extension, in the semi-arid region of northeastern Brazil, with the aim of finding solutions to problems and promoting the integration of different areas and institutions of teaching, research and extension, as well as the best integration between undergraduate and graduate -University graduate.
PPGHI received concept 4 in the “Quadrennial Evaluation” process of postgraduate programs carried out in August 2017 by CAPES (Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel).