Posted: Friday, August 12, 2022. 8:56 am CST.
Photo courtesy of Minister Jose Abelardo Mai
By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The Belize Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise (MAFSE) will soon sign a technical cooperation agreement with Embrapa, the Brazil government’s main research institution.
The agreement comes as a result of the visit of a Ministry of Agriculture delegation led by Minister Jose Abelardo Mai that is in the South American country on the occasion of Brazil’s three-day National Coconut Fair (Fenacoco) which ends on Friday in Fortaleza.
“We are also discussing the possibility of signing a memorandum of understanding on technical cooperation with Embrapa Brazil and the Ministry of Agriculture. Embrapa is the main organization for agriculture research – Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária (Embrapa),” said Minister Mai in an exclusive interview with Breaking Belize News (BBN) from Brazil on Thursday.
“Embrapa has tons and tons of research done in coconut and cashew, processing equipment, and so many other areas of agriculture,” said Mai.
“We are discussing the possibility of having the technical cooperation agreement signed with them. We are discussing it now. We’ll finalize that discussion on (Friday) and maybe in the next few days we will work on that from Belize through the Embassy of Brazil.”
Minister Mai said Embrapa representatives Dr Fernando Arsco and Dr Adriano Mattos have been guiding them during their visit.
Both set up a visit on Friday to the DiKoKo processing plant in Ceara, about an hour and a half away from Fortaleza where the coconut expo is being held.
“They do coconut water and coconut milk. One of the big ones here in Brazil. Brazilians don’t usually welcome visitors to their plants because of the technology that they have but they made an exception to host us.”
Minister Mai said they are interested in seeing the processing equipment so they can improve Belize’s industry.
“We’re looking at the equipment for these products. We’re going to see the equipment and we’re going to see the plant that they use to process coconuts, coconut oil, coconut milk, coconut water, and coconut concentrate,” he said.
Minister Mai also said they are finalizing the details for the Ministry of Agriculture to purchase 18,000 disease tolerant and high-yielding coconut seeds from Brazil.
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