Brazil Opens Office in Africa to Share Agricultural Expertise

African nations are set to benefit from Brazilian expertise in tropical agriculture thanks to an agreement between Brazil and Ghana.

Under the agreement signed July 10, Ghana will host the first African branch of the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa).

The branch will act as a regional base for sharing Brazil’s agricultural knowledge with the whole continent, and will be located at the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research in Accra.

Two staff will identify local research needs, plan studies that can be undertaken in Brazil, and seek international partners to cooperate in the agency’s initiatives.

Research will be carried out in Brazil by Embrapa’s 38 research units, which will send their findings back to Ghana.

Sotto Pacheco Costa, Embrapa’s supervisor of bilateral cooperation, says the branch will also "train local technicians, in Brazil and in Africa, and offer technical assistance [on agricultural problems]".

The branch was decided upon after an increasing number of demands coming from Africa for Brazilian agricultural technology. The move comes as part of Brazil’s commitment to South-South cooperation.

"This is a fascinating experience and a challenge to work with African countries", says Costa. "We are hoping to help resolve the problems in the agricultural sector and become closer partners."

SciDev – www.scidev.net

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