The opening of a Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) office in Africa is going to expand agricultural cooperation possibilities between Brazil and all the countries on the continent.
In the first half of this year, the Embrapa is going to establish an office for technology transfer in the city of Maputo, in Mozambique, and is going to operate on the entire African continent.
“From Mozambique, we intend to expand the relations with other countries, including the Arab ones,” stated Embrapa president Clayton Campanhola.
The office is going to serve as a base for integration with the African countries with which Embrapa has technical cooperation agreements.
The company currently has partnerships with Nigeria, Gabon, Cape Verde, Angola, Mozambique, Namibia and South Africa in the areas of grain, cassava, cashew and small animals, such as goats.
The Embrapa does not yet have partnerships with Arab countries in Africa. Negotiations are currently under way, however, for an agricultural technology transfer agreement with Morocco.
“We are interested in the collection of citrus plants from Morocco,” stated Campanhola. The Moroccans, according to the Embrapa president, plant a large variety of oranges brought from Spain.
Talks between the National Institute of Agronomic Research, (Inra), connected to the Moroccan Ministry of Agriculture, and the Embrapa started in July last year, when company director Gustavo Chianca participated in a mission to the country organized by the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Relations.
At the time, the Moroccans were interested in learning about the Brazilian technology in the areas of sugarcane, bird farming, direct planting and biotechnology to make grain like maize and beans more resistant to droughts.
The opening of the office should provide an impulse to the accord and open doors to partnerships with the other Arab countries in Africa, Algeria, Djibouti, Egypt, the Comoros, Libya, Mauritania, Somalia, Sudan and Tunisia.
Apart from Morocco, the Embrapa is also negotiating the transfer of agricultural technology to Guinea Bissau and Senegal.
Two Brazilian researchers to be selected from within the company ranks will be posted in Mozambique. They are also going to operate in agricultural development in the Zambezi River Valley, in the Moatize district, where Brazilian mining company Vale do Rio Doce is going to work in the extraction of coal.
Vale won, in November last year, a tender to explore coal at the site and they are going to promote a social project for agricultural development in Moatize, to be administered by the Embrapa.
The company researchers are going to elaborate and implement a plan for generation of income for families in the region that live off their agriculture.
Embrapa is only going to pay the salary of the researchers. The funds for the projects will be collected in the countries themselves or at international organizations.
“Embrapa does not send funds, it transfers technology, trains technicians and researchers and provides technical assistance,” explained Campanhola.
The company is also going to take to the African countries, according to the company president, its experience in the structuring of research institutes.
The Embrapa president believes that the Embrapa presence in Africa may also generate an opportunity for Brazilian companies to install themselves in the region to trade inputs and agricultural technologies.
The opening of the office, according to Campanhola, is part of the policy to bring the Brazilian government closer to the African countries.
ANBA ”“ Brazil-Arab News Agency
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