Decades-Old Embargo Ends. Japan Buys Mango from Brazil.

After decades of negotiations, Japan has finally decided to allow Brazilian mango imports in the country. The decision was announced yesterday (05) by Brazil’s Minister of Agriculture, Roberto Rodrigues.

The decree from the Japanese government was signed after Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi visited Brazil in September.


According to information from the Ministry of Agriculture, Japan will initially allow imports of 5,200 tons of mango of the ‘Tomy Atkins’ variety, which should yield US$ 10.4 million per year to Brazilian exporters.


According to the ministry, Brazil exported 126,000 tons of mango to Europe and the United Stated in 2003, which generated revenues of US$ 71 million.


The mango variety that will be sold to the Japanese, according to the ministry, represents 90% of the 820,000 tons of mango harvested in the country yearly.


‘Tomy Atkins’ is produced mainly in the northeastern region of Brazil, such as in the river São Francisco valley, and in São Paulo, in the southeast of Brazil. For minister Rodrigues, the opening of the Japanese market will motivate the increase in production, especially in the São Francisco valley.


For the sales of the product to be allowed, producers had to adopt new cleaning procedures for the harvested mangos, such as washing the fruit in hot water to avoid Mediterranean fruit fly larvae and eggs, and treatment with hypochlorite (disinfectant) against bacteria.


Immigration


As was informed by a spokesman for Rodrigues, the minister remembered that Japanese immigration to Brazil was of great importance to the development of Brazilian agriculture. As is the case with the Arabs and their descendants, Brazil concentrates the biggest Japanese colony outside Japan in the world.


The Minister said that the Japanese introduced new technologies, encouraged associative and cooperation attitudes, and that the Japanese government financed the opening of new agricultural areas.


He added that the opening of the Japanese market to mangos makes way for exports of other agricultural products such as fuel alcohol and biodiesel.


To fulfil the demands in the Kyoto protocol – the international agreement which establishes boundaries on the polluting gas emissions – the Japanese government has already authorised the mixture of 3% of anhydrous alcohol to the petrol used by the cars. Brazil aims to be Japan’s greatest supplier in this sector.


ANBA – Brazil-Arab News Agency

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