Cooperatives are the solution for hunger, farmers’ woes: Brazil Agriculture Minister

Union Minister Shobha Karandlaje with Brazilian Agriculture Minister Carlos Favaro in Delhi.

Union Minister Shobha Karandlaje with Brazilian Agriculture Minister Carlos Favaro in Delhi. , Photo Credit: Twitter/@PIB_India

Brazil’s Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Carlos Fávaro said in Delhi on Thursday that cooperative production and cooperative marketing in the agricultural sector can help address the crisis that has hit global trade in food, especially after the war-like situations in Ukraine and Gaza. Pitching for peace, Mr. Fávaro said the conflicts must end and the issue of food can be addressed by cooperative production. He was talking to reporters on the sidelines of a seminar on ‘Perspectives and the Future of India-Brazil Relations in the Agribusiness Sector.’

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He said the Brazil government, under the leadership of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, is determined to amplify its relations with India, not just in the sphere of agriculture but in the commercial and industrial sectors, too. Both countries signed two Memorandums of Understanding on cooperation in the area of ​​food safety and vegetable oil industries. “We will strengthen our relations in agricultural and climatic research too, and we are ready to transfer technologies in these and in the area of ​​cooperatives. We will like to strengthen our collaboration and our relations to combat hunger and make food available to all,” he said.

He said the Brazil government is for forming cooperatives in the agricultural sector. “I was the founding president of a cooperative. We understand that cooperatives are the essence to strengthen small-hold farmers and it would guarantee competitiveness. Cooperatives can also engage in purchasing and selling of produce too so that chances of small producers become better and they can industrialise their production. Brazil can formalise its relations with Indian cooperatives. Strengthening the commercial activities and transferring technologies to cooperatives will always be supported by the Brazil government,” he said, buttressing the importance of cooperatives in the present world scenario.

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He said Brazil doesn’t see war as a commercial opportunity. “Peace is the objective of Brazil. The conflicts must end,” he said, adding that the country is ready to help in solving the problem of hunger. “Brazil had a technological revolution in the field of agriculture. We changed from an importer of food to an exporter of food. We have produced 580% more foodgrains than required (within the country) in the last 50 years. We are launching a programme to increase the productivity of 40 million hectares of land. We will not use our forests for this. We will preserve our forests. We will guarantee the food necessities for the whole world in the future. We see India as a partner in this process,” Mr. Favaro said.

On questions about fires in the Amazon forests, he said: “We know the importance of forests. We have reduced the cutting of forests by 50%. Forest fires created by criminals have decreased by ten times,” Mr. Favaro said.

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