Representatives of 35 countries are participating in the 9th International Working Conference on Stored Product Protection. The event began on Sunday, October 15, in the city of Campinas, in the interior of São Paulo, and the objective is to discuss the main problems that affect post-harvest of grain and fibre.
This is the first time that a country in South America presents the conference, which takes place in a different country every four years.
The event is coordinated by the International Permanent Committee and in Brazil is promoted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply, by the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa), the National Food Supply Company (Conab) and the Brazilian Post-Harvest Association (Abrapos).
According to Embrapa Wheat researcher and one of the organizers of the event, Benami Bacaltchuk, the main problems that affect post-harvest of grain and fibre are storage, drying, toxic residues, impurity and insects found in commodities.
"The world is more and more demanding. Consumers want clean products, with good appearance and nutritional value," he said. The event is also going to cover the economic and social aspects of storage problems.
According to figures supplied by the Conab, the Brazilian storage capacity is 114.4 million tons, with the country producing around 120 million tons.
According to Bacaltchuk, during the conference, speakers from various countries are going to discuss these problems within a scientific vision. The question of food quality has been a decisive factor to make countries more competitive in global agribusiness.
"The event is going to make it possible for us to exchange information in the area and to know about innovation by different countries," he said. Bacaltchuk also recalled that the Arab countries are great importers of Brazilian commodities.
From January to September this year, Brazilian agribusiness exports to the Arab countries generated US$ 2.98 billion, an increase of 15.37% when compared to the same period last year. In general, sector foreign sales rose 11% in the first nine months of the year and reached US$ 36 billion.
Yesterday morning, October 16, Brazil’s Minister of Agriculture, Luís Carlos Guedes Pinto, participated in the conference and recalled the importance of agribusiness in Brazilian exports.
He said that the estimated trade balance surplus for this year is US$ 47 billion, being US$ 41 billion from agribusiness. He also stated that the country has 280 million hectares turned to agriculture.
According to Bacaltchuk, Brazil has stood out in the global scenery as one of the greatest producers of commodities, especially grain. "We are the second greatest exporter of soy and the third greatest producer of maize," he said.
The conference brings together around 700 people, among them scientists, researchers, professors, storage professionals and farmers. The speakers at the conference include representatives from countries like Brazil, China, Italy, the United States, the Czech Republic, Spain, Austria, France and Israel.
Apart from the speakers, the conference includes an area where 215 scientific papers are being exhibited in the form of posters. The works show alternative methods to chemical pest control, techniques to measure the quality of the grain during drying, new forms for warehouse waterproofing, and work safety concepts.
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