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Brazil Wants to Reduce Fish Imports, But It Lacks Specialized Labor

Fishing in BrazilBrazil aims to increase fish production and reduce imports in the area. An agreement by the Ministry of Fishery and Aquiculture and the Brazilian Micro and Small Business Support Service (Sebrae) is being signed on Tuesday to train the country’s companies that work in aquiculture and fishery. The Sebrae already operates in the area, but should join efforts with the federal government to expand activities.

Currently, Brazil produces 1.3 million tons of fish and, according to forecasts by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), may reach 20 million tons by 2030.

The focus of the Sebrae and Ministry project is production of shrimp, oysters, tambaqui and tilapia. The Sebrae already assists 3,600 farmers, according to information disclosed by the manager of the Agribusiness unit, Enio Queijada.

According to Queijada, the agreement to be signed with the Ministry is general and other technical cooperation will take place as a result. The idea, starting now, however, is to take new technology to the sector, to train fishermen, to help obtain environmental licenses for enterprises and to improve the quality of product certification processes, among others. The Sebrae operates in the area in 19 states in Brazil, according to local demand.

The manager of the Agribusiness unit recalls that there has been great growth in some rural sectors in the country, like production of grain, and stated that the same has not taken place in the case of fish.

The idea, therefore, is to boost the area. One of the current bottlenecks to growth of fishery and aquiculture, he said, is the lack of specialized labor, like consultants and technicians to help companies. The Sebrae focus is on partnerships with small companies.

Regarding future exports, Queijada stated that this is a slightly greater challenge that is not an immediate objective of the project.

Training fish farmers and fishermen to supply the domestic market and reduce imports, however, is among the targets. In 2011, Brazil exported around US$ 222 million in fishery and aquiculture products.

Anba

 

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