Brazil’s Embrapa to invest in African countries where China is applying US$5 billion

7 May 2007

Sao Paulo, Brazil, 7 May – Brazilian state farming research company, Embrapa, has announced it will invest in Africa, precisely in countries where China plans to fund the building of infrastructures, such as Mozambique and Angola, according to the Brazilian press.

Embrapa plans to accompany Chinese investment in Africa, estimated at US$5 billion over the next five years, in order to gain a slice of the staff training, technical assistance, consulting, associated survey and technology transfer markets in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Embrapa believes that investments by China will lead to a strong increase in demand for food goods in the African market, allowing for entry into the market of Brazilian goods such as agricultural machinery and equipment, seeds, production systems and even raw materials (soy, maize, rice, cotton) and meats.

To begin with Embrapa will focus on Mozambique, South Africam Namibia, Zambia, Cameroon, Liberia, the Sudan and the Seychelles and at a later stage on Angola, Egypt, Ghana, the Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Uganda, Nigeria and Kenya.

“China is moving into Africa for the mining, of copper, iron, manganese, as well as for oil and gas. And we are going after them to step outside Brazil, for the first time in an institutional way,” said the chairman of Embrapa, Silvio Crestana to newspaper Volr Economico.

In 2006 Embrapa set up a research unit in Accra, the capital of Ghana where a team of researchers has since December been carrying out surveys of the vast local market.

“Embrapa’s technology, which is a world leader in tropical agriculture, covers all of Africa’s eco-systems. Not only with production technologies, but also in terms of management, specific crops, zoning and animal genetics, for example,” said Crestana.

Even with just four months of work in Africa, the demand has been “enormous” he said.

“There have been requests of every kind. For example, a Portuguese group has been looking for a partnership to plant 100,000 hectares of soy and set up a biodiesel factory for export to Europe. The world’s largest cooperative, the All China Federation, which has 160 million members, is interested in Embraa’s technology,” said Crestana. (macauhub)