Twenty three diplomats participating in the Brazilian Agribusiness Immersion Program over the last two weeks became closely acquainted with the leading Brazilian export sectors such as meats, soy, coffee, sugar, alcohol and fruit.
Furthermore, they got to know the work developed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply in the fields of product research, certification and monitoring.
The program included rural properties and industries in the states of Minas Gerais, São Paulo, Pernambuco, Bahia, Paraná and the Federal District.
"We were able to showcase the control and the measures adopted by the government to ensure the quality of Brazilian export products," said the director of the Agribusiness International Promotion Department, Eduardo Sampaio.
"We have also managed to showcase some of the production. They have acquired much more knowledge and confidence to deal with matters pertaining to agribusiness in other countries," he added.
"The visits were very fruitful and clarifying. We feel that this will be useful in our future actions, which consist basically of promoting Brazilian products, defending them in case they are criticized or tariff restrictions are unduly imposed on them, and trying to negotiate favorable commercial conditions to exports of the products," said the advising minister to the Brazilian embassy in the United Arab Emirates, Arthur Nogueira, in a release issued by the press office of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply.
Forecasted actions include boosting investment from the Middle East in Brazilian agribusiness. "They need agricultural products that Brazil can offer. We are going to trade capital for products, following instructions of the Ministry of Agriculture," said Nogueira.
In the state of Minas Gerais, the diplomats became familiar with meat production (bovine, swine and poultry) during visits to farms and slaughterhouses. They also got to know the coffee industry.
In the municipalities of Carambeí and Castro, the group visited a farm where they witnessed direct planting, milk production, swine farming and bioenergy production, as well as a dairy farm and the headquarters of a cooperative. In Petrolina, in the state of Pernambuco, and Juazeiro, in the state of Bahia, they visited irrigated plantations of fruit such as grape and mango.
In Campinas, in the interior of the state of São Paulo, they visited a laboratory of the Ministry and a production unit for sugar, alcohol and bioenergy. They also attended lectures by exporter organizations for soy, coffee, sugar, oil and orange juice.
In Curitiba, the capital of the state of Paraná, the diplomats visited the Union and Organization of Cooperatives of the State of Paraná (Ocepar), where they attended lectures and debates on cooperatives and on the work of the Ministry in the state. They also paid a visit to the Port of Paranaguá.
On the last day of the meeting, in Brasília, the diplomats visited the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa), the head office of the National Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock (CNA) and the Ministry of Agrarian Development.
"The evaluation of the program was quite positive. The diplomats were impressed with the slaughterhouses, with the strict inspection, with a farm in the state of Minas Gerais that generates over 1,800 formal jobs, and also with the large generation of jobs in Petrolina," said Sampaio.
The initiative was developed in partnership with the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Relations. Starting in February 2010, trade missions will take place for foreign investors to get to know Brazilian agribusiness. The partnership between the ministries of Agriculture and Foreign Relations will also ensure the participation of Brazil in trade fairs in South Africa, Russia, China and Vietnam.