The Federal University of Viçosa (UFV) has signed an agreement with the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA). The university already has a history of cooperation with the African continent, receiving students from more than twenty countries. With the agreement, the university intends to expand its activities in the region.
For the university’s director of international relations, Vladimir Oliveira Di Iorio, UFV researchers have played an important role in the actions carried out by the Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC) in Africa, mainly related to agriculture and food. The new agreement is part of the Agricultural Research and Innovation Fellowship Program for Africa (Arifa) and will promote short courses related to Brazilian agribusiness.
“UFV has the knowledge to implement this process and Fara is the ideal partner to make knowledge faster in the right places. We believe the Arifa program can be an important tool to achieve our goals”, says the director.
The list of countries involved includes Algeria, Angola, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Congo, Sao Tome, and Principe and Zimbabwe. As climatic and environmental conditions in many regions of Brazil are similar to those found in Africa, some of the important agricultural technologies developed in Brazil are increasingly adaptable to the African continent.
With the new agreement, UFV is expected to receive up to 180 students by 2020. The short courses will be taught in English from August 2020. They will cover topics such as introduction to agribusiness in Brazil, dairy and meat chains. , coffee, corn, cotton, orange, soy, sugar cane, biofuels, and biomaterials. The technologies presented in the courses may be replicated and adapted in African countries, with similar environmental conditions to some areas of Brazil.
In addition, Arifa fellows will be offered vacancies in all UFV postgraduate programs related to agriculture. “The UFV is being the focal point of the countries of the African continent in Brazil and this has been very relevant because it allows us to make a significant advance in the internationalization process”, says Di Iorio.
According to Dean Demetrius David da Silva, UFV already has a history of partnerships with the African continent, reaching about 300 students from over 20 countries in Africa, for bachelors, masters, and doctorates. Now this partnership will be expanded and enhanced, with great possibilities for student exchanges from the University to Africa and vice versa.
Representatives of the African Agricultural Research Forum (Fara) attended the Viçosa campus during November to formalize partnerships with the University. Rector Demetrius David da Silva and Fara Executive Director Oseyemi Akinbamijo signed a cooperation agreement for the development of agriculture in Africa. In addition to signing the agreement, representatives of Fara – Oseyemi Akinbamijo, Abdulrazak Ibrahim, Irene Annor-Frepomg, and Endi Ezengwa – visited postgraduate programs at UFV and the Institute for Public Policy and Sustainable Development (IPPDS).