Rice, a company from Egypt, wishes to invest from US$ 500,000 to US$ 1 million in rice production in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, in the South of Brazil. Company representatives visited the Rice Institute of the State of Rio Grande do Sul (Irga) to present their project.
Their aim is to produce in Brazil in order to supply both to the Brazilian market and the Arab countries, according to information published by the website of the government of the state.
Mohamed El Helw, Rice's CEO, says that the investment would be destined for an experimental area of up to 200 hectares, with the objective of introducing Egyptian technologies. According to the site, the goal is to develop a variety of Arab-Brazilian rice. Average productivity in Egyptian crops is 10 tons per hectare in an area of 550,000 hectares.
One of the concerns of the Egyptian is the world food crisis, which led the Arab country to suspend its exports of rice until October this year. The Rice representatives also visited the Irga's Experimental Station, in the city of Cachoeirinha. According to information supplied by the state government, the rice sector believes that the Egyptians may produce the grain in Rio Grande do Sul in order to export to the Arab world in the future.
In Brazil, exports of rice totaled 95,500 tons in July, a record high volume for the month. In the accumulated result for the year, shipments reached 338,000 tons, representing growth of 121% over the same period last year.
According to the Brazilian Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, approximately 81.3% of shipments consisted of processed rice. Rio Grande do Sul accounted for 97% of shipments through the Port of Rio Grande. Benin, Guinea, Chile, Italy and Panama were the leading destinations.
The Brazilian rice crop grew 7% in the 2007/2008 season, and should total 12.1 million tons. However, the country also imports the grain. Imports in July totaled to 32,100 tons, and the sector is close to attaining an even balance of trade. In the accumulated result for the year, Brazil imported 363,100 tons, as against 338,000 tons exported.