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13,000 Family Farmers Enrolled in Brazil’s Biodiesel Program

Castor oil plant Brazilian Petrobras Biofuel's Montes Claros Biodiesel Plant should deliver 1.5 million liters of biodiesel in the first quarter of 2009. The fuel has been sold at the 12th biodiesel auction of the National Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuel Agency (ANP).

Production should begin in the coming weeks, within the forecasted schedule of entry into operation of the plant, in the city of Montes Claros, in the Brazilian southeastern state of Minas Gerais.

The implementation of the plant in Montes Claros, as well as of the Plants of Candeias, in the state of Bahia, and of Quixadá, in Ceará, are accompanied by a program for development of the regional agricultural market, which will supply the raw material for the manufacturing of biodiesel.

Thus, the company will enable the generation of employment and income, always maintaining entrepreneurial, social and environment sustainability. The company complies with the requirements of the National Program for Biodiesel Production and Use and is committed to obtaining the Social Fuel Stamp, which the Candeias and Quixadá plants have already earned.

The program encourages the development of family farming by means of actions that involve distribution of seeds, agricultural technical assistance services, transport of production and support to the organization of small farmers into cooperatives.

Petrobras Biofuel signs five-year contracts, which offer greater guarantees to farmers, with purchase prices previously negotiated with the participation of representative organizations.

The company aims to develop partnerships in the region with 20,000 family farmers for supplying the Montes Claros Plant. For the 2008/2009 crop, there already are 12,955 family farmers enrolled in the program, who will receive technical assistance and follow-up of productive activities by means of a support network of 200 technicians and agents at partnering institutions. For this new phase, 131 tons of seeds have been distributed thus far, being 128 tons of castor oil plant and 3 tons of sunflower.

Petrobras Biofuel guarantees the purchase of 100% of the previously agreed upon output, originated by family farmers enrolled with the company, among whom it promotes its agricultural development actions.

Since June 21 last year, a total of 396 tons of grain have been purchased, being 270 tons of castor oil plant, 93 tons of peanut and 33 tons of sunflower. From that total, 95% comes from family farmers with whom the company maintains agricultural partnerships, located within a radius of 300 kilometers from Montes Claros, an area in which the company favors the purchase of oleaginous plants.

Anba

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