26 February 2013

Africa: FAO's South-South Cooperation to Benefit From Brazilian Expertise

press release

Rome — The Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA) and FAO on Monday formally partnered to identify opportunities where Brazilian experience and expertise can best contribute to the battle against hunger under FAO's South-South Cooperation initiative.

"Food security is our top priority, and to reach that goal, we need improved and sustainable agricultural production," said FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva.

"EMBRAPA has an important contribution to make towards achieving that goal," Graziano da Silva added.

EMBRAPA's President Maurício Lopes said, "With this agreement, we have opened avenues to develop a strong cooperation agenda in the fields of agriculture, food security and policy support in developing countries."

"The challenges we face today are so complex that we cannot work in isolation," added the President of EMBRAPA.

Under the agreement, EMBRAPA will assign an expert to FAO headquarters to identify key programmes and projects where Brazilian experience can best contribute to strengthening knowledge and technology transfer in the fields of agriculture, food security and sustainable management of natural resources.

EMBRAPA is a globally recognized centre of tropical agricultural research that was key in Brazil's successful program to drastically cut hunger at home by focusing research on crops produced by smallholder farmers that increased local food supplies in different geographic and climatic conditions.

Many developing countries, especially in Africa, have expressed their interest in working through FAO to access the knowledge and experience that EMBRAPA has developed in tropical agriculture to promote the inclusion of smallholders in the food market.

The two partners committed themselves to strengthening their joint work in agricultural research, food security and policy development, while keeping in mind the need to expand knowledge sharing and technical cooperation among developing countries. In addition, both recognized the need to aim for sustainable food production and improved food consumption, food quality and nutrition, as well as greater fairness in the global management of food.

FAO's South-South Cooperation

FAO's South-South Cooperation is based on solidarity among developing countries and mutual benefits, connecting countries that have development solutions to share with countries in need of such solutions and allowing the "provider" country to also learn from this exchange. The premise is that these "Southern" solutions will have a greater potential impact having been developed under similar biophysical, social, cultural and economic realities as the "recipient" countries.

Its objectives are to enhance solidarity among developing countries and to allow the recipient countries to benefit from the relevant strengths, experience and expertise of other developing countries in a pragmatic and cost effective manner.

Since the creation in 1996 of the FAO SSC initiative, more than 50 South-South Cooperation agreements have been signed and more than 1600 developing country experts and technicians have been deployed to support other countries' food security initiatives.

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