The Brazil Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA) has called for enhanced scientific corporation with African countries to achieve enhanced Agricultural productivity.
Speaking during the 4th Brazil Africa Forum, aimed at encouraging broad debate on opportunities of the Agricultural sector in Brazil and Africa, in Foz Do Iguacu, Brazil, Head of International Relations at EMBRAPA Mr. Mario Seixas said technical cooperation was key but not important in achieving increased productivity, hence the need to enhance scientific cooperation with the African countries.
He said EMBRAPA had operations in the United States, Europe, Asia and Africa, with scientific connections forged with developed countries and others on technical cooperation, a situation he said must change.
Mr. Seixas said before 1970 Brazil was not a food secure country, but in 43 years the country had become one of the largest Agriculture producers in the world, by developing a science based Agriculture model aided by government commitment.
He said this had resulted in the creation of 70 Agricultural universities and 48 national agriculture research centers, with the acquisition of key Japanese technological know-how.
He said the institution has 9843 employees, 2415 scientists, and researchers with PHD/DSC 2182.
EMBRAPA is a state-owned research corporation under the Ministry of Agriculture, and has since its inception in 1973 devoted to developing technologies, knowledge and technical scientific information aimed at Brazilian Agriculture.
And Development Bank of Africa (AfDB) President Mr. Akinwumi Adesina said one of the Bank’s key priority areas is to support Agriculture so that the Continent could become a key global player, saying Africans should start looking at Agriculture as a business as opposed to a way of life.
He also said that Africa needed to develop its infrastructure and push for regional integration in order to move beyond the 15 percent intra-Continental trade.
AfDB Vice-President Kapil Kapoor said AfDB was focused on adding an additional 160 gigawatts to the electricity grid by 2025, which would require $60 billion every year, although the Continent was only providing half the amount, hence the need for the private sector participation.
Nigeria’s minister for Agriculture and Rural Development chief Audu Ogbeh said since the structural adjustment programme that was forced on most African countries in the 1980s, interest rates on the Continent had remained high, but that Nigeria was reforming the Bank of Agriculture in order to keep interest rates at five percent despite the criticism.
“In Kenya Parliament imposed a ceiling of below 14 percent interest rates, despite protests the Parliament is still there,” said chief Ogbeh.
This statement was released to the media by Patson Chilemba , the First Secretary (Press) at the Embassy of the Republic of Zambia to Brazil