Rome — $2.2 million project to strengthen agriculture and veterinary research
Angola, Brazil and FAO are to work closely together to strengthen food security in the Southern African country by boosting its agricultural and veterinary research.
Under a new South-South Cooperation agreement, Angolan researchers will receive technical assistance and short-term training from the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA), which played a key role in Brazil's successful domestic programme to drastically reduce hunger.
"The availability of highly qualified researchers and innovators who understand the complexity of development challenges is key to making great strides in agriculture and food security in Angola," said Laurent Thomas, FAO Assistant Director-General for Technical Cooperation.
"Brazil has much to offer in terms of proven technical know-how and this agreement is an important milestone in South-South Cooperation between the two countries. We believe it is a model that we hope will be followed by other countries of the global South."
Facilitated by FAO, the two-year project will be co-financed by Angola and Brazil, with Angola covering the $2.2 million financial costs and Brazil providing an in-kind contribution of $875 000 through the work of EMBRAPA experts.
The project will formulate a national strategy for agricultural innovation in addition to training some 60 researchers from Angola's Agricultural Research Institute and 45 from its Veterinary Research Institute.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Florêncio Mariano da Conceição e Almeida, Permanent Representative of Angola to FAO, said the project would contribute to national efforts on food security and poverty reduction which have already enabled Angola to meet the Millennium Development Goal target of halving its proportion of hungry people ahead of the 2015 deadline.
Antonino Marques Porto e Santos, Permanent Representative of Brazil to FAO, quoted a message by former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to Angolan President José Eduardo Dos Santos: "The similarity between Africa's Savanna and the Brazilian Cerrado presents tremendous potential for EMBRAPA's intervention in the African continent. Brazil would like to help Angola in diversifying and realizing its immense economic and agricultural potential and securing its food self-sovereignty."
FAO's South-South Cooperation
FAO started its South-South Cooperation initiative in 1996 to facilitate cooperation among developing countries of the global South to help each other improve food security.
Since then, nearly 50 agreements have been signed and more than 1800 experts from 15 provider countries have been deployed to support food security initiatives in more than 50 developing countries.
EMBRAPA and FAO formally partnered in February 2013 to identify opportunities where Brazilian experience and expertise can best contribute to the battle against hunger.