The life of Lucia Basso he passed between trees and agronomic issues, and he comes from a family of agronomists. Her grandfather had a nursery and since she was a girl she knows what contact with nature is. And this year, that love – which led her to study agronomy and specialize in the forestry sector – produced a large harvest: in two days she, Lucía, completed two large projects, took over as president of the Society of Forest Producers (SPF) and launched a public offering financial forest trustwith an issue of US$ 56 million.
The new holder of the SPF became the first woman to head the producers union.
That girl who knew agriculture as a child, in days in which she accompanied her father to work and learned about trees, landscaping and nurseries from family experiences, gradually took a special liking for work linked to this topics.
So when he grew up and He began his career at the Faculty of Agronomy from the University of the Republic (Udelar), it was clear, “from day one”, that he wanted to focus on the world of forestry.
When I was studying, the forestry sector was developing in the country. There, in the 1960s, he had had an impulse and the first plantations of the Notarial Fund or the Professional Fund appeared, he recalled, but it still did not have the growth it has today. The forested area was barely close to 60 thousand hectares.
Explode with happiness for a task
At that time, she did not plan to focus on working in the productive area, but was more interested in national parks, gardens and ornamental nurseries. Her degree was carried out while she was working in the Soil and Water Directorate of the Ministry of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries (MGAP) and when she finished it, in 1987, coincidentally the Forest Law was approved.
That same year the ministry decided to strengthen the Forestry Department and Lucía requested the transfer. That MGAP directorate would be in charge of executing and complying with the tasks of this new law, and when the authorities accepted that Lucía would go to work there, she exploded with happiness, according to her. Thus, her link with forest production began.
“It was wonderful to enter the sector, it was pure learning. The office had dynamics, resources, clear lines and a law that supported it. We were all with our shirts on, ”she highlighted.
For several years he worked in the area of project studies and subsidies, with different extension projects, several linked to international support. “It was a fantastic experience,” she said, which she is grateful to this day.
Lucía is an agronomist, mother of three daughters, and now, also an entrepreneur.
Work, be a mother and undertake
After working for a decade in that public direction, he went one step further and went to work in the private sector, more precisely in the corporate world. Over there developed in certifications and auditssince he had a lot of knowledge when it came to environmental practices.
That “was a spectacular experience, a lot of learning,” she said, but one of the characteristics it had was that it required her to travel a lot abroad, a practice that, although it gave her many experiences, was not compatible with her role as a mother of three. little girls.
After learning and working for a while, he decided to go one step further. Investment funds landed in the forestry sector in Uruguay and Lucía joined an investment fund manager at a US bank, where she began her career in that sector.
In 2021 he was encouraged to bet more. And after the administrator in which he worked was sold, he decided to start his own project: a public offering financial trust, with a retail market in which the AFAPs participate.
The issuance of the trust was carried out exactly one day before Lucía took office in the SPF, a union to which she has belonged for several years and in which she stands out, they work a lot as a team for the development of the sector.
“I am very happy, I feel very fulfilled to be able to work on my own project. I felt at all times very sure of what I was doing”, He commented on the investment fund, a work process that took more than a year and which he considered a great challenge.
Presiding over the SPF is also a challenge, he said. “An incredible thing,” she added. And that both events occurred within a few hours of each other, “it was shocking,” he said.
Being in charge of the union demands a role that requires a lot of learning, he explained, “where the potential of each one as a professional is put to the test.”
The SPF is very important in its role of communicator and generator of links with producers, and also with the public sector, he commented.
What would you change about the sector?
Lucía sees the forestry sector as increasingly professionalizedand that has brought, consequently, that production does not stop growing, and also to develop as sustainable, he explained.
In this sense, he highlighted the good production practices that exist in Uruguay and stressed: “We are a sector that we self-control.”
Asked about what she would like to change or fix in the forestry sector, she commented that she would like to continue developing the production of solid wood in the country, in which there is “a very important challenge”; while, in addition, there is improvement in the regulatory part of the sector, since, according to her comment, “there is a lot of regulation and it is very good, but sometimes they do not make sense and come out the same”.
In line with this, he spoke, for example, about the bill on the prevention of forest fires that was recently approved in the Chamber of Deputies, he said that the SPF studied the issue technically, and that “it doesn’t make any sense.”
Finally, the new president of the foresters said that it is necessary to homogenize the departmental regulations with the national ones, which “sometimes overlap.”
“We receive all the proposals that are made, but it is very important that they have a technical basis,” he said, stressing the importance of dialogue with producers and with the government.
The new board of directors of the union that Lucía chairs already has upcoming meetings scheduled with two ministries, that of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries and that of the Environment.