Focusing on sustainability, Brazil and China discuss actions for agriculture in bilateral dialogue

At the event, potential forms of cooperation between the two countries will be discussed for the development of sustainable agriculture

20.05.2021 | 20:59 (UTC -3)

Representatives from the government, productive sector and civil society from Brazil and China will meet starting this Thursday (20/05) to discuss sustainability in agriculture. The Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply, Tereza Cristina, participated today in the opening of the Brazil-China Dialogue on the topic, in an online event, held by the Brazil-China Business Council (CEBC) and the Chinese think tank Institute of Finance and Sustainability (IFS).

“Sustainability is a concept inherent to agriculture in Brazil. Investments over the last 50 years in science and innovation have enabled the highly productive adaptation of plant and animal varieties to the tropics. Sustainable intensification, with integrated production of grains, meat and forests, made it possible to carry out two, or even three, harvests per year in the same area”, declared the Brazilian minister.

China is the main partner of Brazilian agribusiness, with Brazil being one of the most important suppliers of food for the population of the Asian country. “We have built a relationship of trust in ongoing delivery, with quality, safety and sustainability, on a scale sufficient to contribute to food security in China”, added Tereza Cristina about the Sino-Brazilian partnership.

Sustainability in agriculture is a topic of fundamental importance for both countries, which seek to reconcile food security and environmental preservation with the use of technological innovations and increased productivity. This is what China's Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Tang Renjian, highlighted.

“Promoting sustainability depends on international cooperation based on good faith, mutual trust and reciprocal benefit. Brazil is the first developing country to create a strategic partnership with China and is also an important partner in agribusiness,” he said.

The event will explore potential forms of cooperation between the two countries in these areas and present corporate practices linked to sustainable agriculture. Over the course of two days, four panels will be held on fundamental issues for Sino-Brazilian cooperation: green finance, sustainable agriculture, biodiversity and circular economy.

The relationship between sustainable agriculture and biodiversity will also be discussed, considering that China will host the United Nations COP15 on Biological Diversity in October.

Low carbon emission

Agricultural production with low greenhouse gas emissions is already a reality in Brazil and was presented by the director of the Department of Sustainable Production and Irrigation of the Ministry of Agriculture, Mariane Crespolini.

From being an importer of basic foods in the 1970s, Brazil is currently considered the breadbasket of the world, responsible for feeding more than 1 billion people in 180 markets. For every four food dishes served in the world, one features ingredients originating in Brazil.

To maintain such sustainable production, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply (Mapa) developed the Low Carbon Agriculture Plan (ABC), which, in the last decade, allowed the carbon mitigation target in agricultural production to be exceeded, reaching 50 million acre. In other words, 20% of the Brazilian cultivated area started to adopt low greenhouse gas emission practices based on technologies such as crop-livestock-forest integration, direct planting and biological nitrogen fixation.

The ABC Plan was updated until 2030 and seeks to advance sustainable technological solutions for rural production and improving rural producers' income, with a focus on agriculture's confrontation with climate change. “Called the ABC+ Plan, it is a way of strengthening bilateral and economic relations”, highlighted Crespolini. 

Another action mentioned at the event was the “Carbon Neutral Meat” certification. Products with this certificate are now available on supermarket shelves and are a guarantee that the cattle are raised with adequate pasture management and in areas with planted trees (crop-livestock-forest integration), thus neutralizing the methane exhaled by the animals, in addition to providing greater animal well-being.

On Friday (21/05), the Deputy Secretary for Innovation, Rural Development and Irrigation of the Ministry, Cléber Soares, participates in the Sustainable Agriculture and Biodiversity panel.

Follow the Brazil-China Dialogue on Sustainable Agriculture on YouTube.

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Founded in 2004, the Brazil-China Business Council is a bilateral non-profit institution formed by two independent sections, one in Brazil and the other in China, and dedicated to promoting dialogue between companies in the two countries.

The CEBC focuses its activities on the structural issues of the Sino-Brazilian bilateral relationship, with the aim of improving the trade and investment environment between the countries. In 2015, the Council was officially recognized in the Joint Action Plan signed between Brazil and China, as the main interlocutor of governments in promoting business relations between the two countries.

LS Tractor February