Brazil occupies prominent places in both cotton production and exports, attracting several partners interested in strengthening the cotton sector. The latest country to seek Brazil’s support in Zimbabwe. An agreement was signed between the two countries to guarantee training and also the transfer of Brazilian cotton technologies to the African country.
The signing of the project took place at a ceremony on December 12th in Harare and was attended by the Zimbabwe Ministry of Land, Agriculture, Water, and Rural Resettlement. In addition to the validation and signature of the document, the Brazilian delegation that went to the country can also validate the logical matrix of the project and the implementation proposal.
ATLANTICO spoke with Melissa Scheidemantel, responsible for the projects of the Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC) in Zimbabwe. She talked about the implementation of the initiative and the relations between the two countries. Melissa also pointed out the points that will be worked with the partnership, and how Brazil should contribute to the development of the Zimbabwean cotton sector.
ATLANTICO – What is the project “Strengthening the Cotton Sector in Zimbabwe”?
Melissa Scheidemantel – The project aims to increase the productivity of cotton crops in the Gokwe region. To this end, the proposal for technical cooperation embodied in this project involves the implementation of three components with which to achieve interdependent results: the validation and diffusion of technologies of the Minas Gerais Agricultural Research Corporation (EPAMIG in Portuguese) for cotton cultivation; training researchers, extension workers, local technicians and leading producers in the use and dissemination of recommended technologies and strengthening public policies on family farming.
ATLANTICO – The signature happened, what is the next step?
Melissa Scheidemantel – The project document is in the final stage of the signature. As soon as the signing process is completed, the first technical mission to the country is intended to be carried out, with the objective of diagnosing the physical facilities, equipment, and land provided by the partner institutions for the installation of the Demonstration Technical Unit (UTD).
ATLANTICO – How did the partnership come about? Are there currently other partnerships with Zimbabwe?
Melissa Scheidemantel -The partnership arose from a demand made by the Zimbabwean government. In addition to the initiative, in the context of the cotton sector, in 2019, the “Strengthening of the Beef Cattle Sector in Zimbabwe” Project was signed, in which the Federal University of Viçosa (UFV in Portuguese) acts as a cooperating Brazilian institution.
ATLANTICO – What does this project represent in face of the relations between Brazil and Zimbabwe?
Melissa Scheidemantel – This project represents the deepening of relations between Brazil and Zimbabwe, through the exchange of experiences and knowledge acquired by Brazilian institutions of recognized excellence in the sector.
ATLANTICO – What are ABC’s main projects with African countries? Are there any new projects to be launched this year?
Melissa Scheidemantel – In the area of strengthening the cotton sector, ABC currently implements the “Brazilian Cotton Initiative Support Program”, which includes some projects (see map below). Currently, projects to strengthen the cotton sector are under negotiation in Benin, Cameroun, and Ethiopia.
The project has the cooperation of Brazilian companies and institutions that will share their expertise with the African country. The partnership between Brazil and Zimbabwe in this project has the support of the Technical Assistance and Rural Extension Company of the State of Minas Gerais (EMATER-MG), the Agricultural Research Corporation of Minas Gerais (EPAMIG) and the Secretariat of Family Agriculture and Cooperativism of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock and Supply of Brazil (MAPA).