Embrapa Milho and Sorgo has a new management team

The new general head of Embrapa Milho and Sorgo is Frederico Durães

12.11.2019 | 20:59 (UTC -3)
Guilherme Viana​

“A company with purposes is an instrument of social transformation”. With this statement, the new head-general of Embrapa Corn and Sorghum, Frederico Durães, highlighted his motivation in assuming leadership of the Company. “It’s up to me to promise a new future, indicating challenges for new directions and focuses,” he said.

Frederico highlights that the Embrapa is from Brazil, and also from Minas Gerais, Sete Lagoas and the surrounding area. “The Embrapa network with its public and private partners is fundamentally a house of science, a company providing knowledge. And the current moment brings us the prospect of new challenges. Perhaps, the formatting of the role of also being mediators of legitimate interests of the public initiative, private initiative and public-private partnership”. 

The new manager congratulated the general manager who preceded him, Antônio Álvaro Corsetti Purcino, and the entire team of employees for the work carried out. The development of assets was highlighted by Antônio Álvaro as contributions from the Unit's team in recent years. “We are developing the first transgenic tropical corn as a result of a partnership between a public company and a private seed company. We have several outstanding sorghum cultivars. Furthermore, the international market is hungry for millet, and this Unit is prepared to meet the demands that arise,” he stated.

He highlighted the importance of biological products, the development of baculovirus-based biodefenses, Bt-derived products and the first phosphate-solubilizing inoculant. "O BiomaPhos It is a huge source of pride for Embrapa. In partnership with a private national company – Biome – the product manages to rescue a billion-dollar reserve of phosphorus existing in the soil”, he highlighted. “This is proof that investing in technology, science and innovation brings returns for the country.”  

Furthermore, Antônio Álvaro highlighted the so-called intangible assets, technologies for updated production systems, Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Crop-Livestock Integration. He also mentioned the consolidation of the Technological Integration Week (SIT), an event that shows society innovations generated by Embrapa and brought together more than three thousand people in its latest edition. He also highlighted the role of Embrapa Milho e Sorgo in public policies, such as the Brasil Sem Miséria Plan, and international cooperation projects, such as the training of African technicians in IPM and biological control for the management of fall armyworm.

But, as the main source of pride, the previous boss indicated the raising of external resources. “This Unit quickly realized that it needed to raise private resources to deliver results that society demands and expects, and formed many partnerships, establishing several research programs.” Evaluating the benefits of the technologies generated and the increase in crop productivity, Antônio Álvaro concluded that it is clear how investing in science and innovation gives a return to society. 

The president of the FAEMG system (Federation of Agriculture and Livestock of the State of Minas Gerais) Roberto Simões, when analyzing the future environment, said that “never before do we need Embrapa and State Agricultural Research Organizations so much”. According to him, “where there are no certainties and changes are increasingly rapid and transformative, we need academia, science and innovation more than ever”, he reinforced.

‘Research transformed the Cerrado”, says president of Embrapa

The ceremony was attended by the president of the Embrapa Celso Luiz Moretti. After greeting those present, he highlighted the work carried out by former boss Antônio Álvaro over almost 10 years at the helm of Embrapa Corn and Sorghum and cited the contributions that the Unit made to the production chain of corn, sorghum, millet and integrated Crop-Livestock-Forest systems. “A serious, committed job. I followed the entire trajectory and all the work you developed here with your team and I want to thank you on behalf of Embrapa and on behalf of Brazilian society.”

Then, the president greeted the new boss Frederico Durães. “At this moment you take over our Embrapa Milho e Sorgo with a very large set of challenges ahead. I wish you a warm welcome, lots of luck and much success.” 

In his speech, President Moretti spoke about Embrapa's mission and what the Company has done for the country over the last almost five decades. “I never fail to say, to celebrate and emphasize what this country has done, what we have done over the last five decades, of leaving a country that imported food, a country that had no food security, known only as a producer of coffee, sugar and cocoa. That there was no tropical agricultural technology, that imported technology from other countries. But it was organized, through the organization of a strong agricultural research system, with universities, state agricultural research organizations, rural extension technical assistance organizations, and, mainly, the private sector. The private sector is what came along with agricultural research,” he said.

Moretti highlighted that it is necessary to talk more about Brazilian agriculture and reinforce the message of the sustainability of Brazilian agriculture. “Public agricultural research paved the way, and transformed the Brazilian Cerrados into fertile land, removing the situation of poor, acidic soil with aluminum toxicity and transforming the Brazilian Cerrado of 200 million hectares into fertile land. It tropicalized crops and animal breeds, tropicalized soybeans, wheat, cattle, producing in the tropics and developing a sustainable production platform”, pointed out the president.

He highlighted that this is what Brazil did and that we need to talk a lot about this transformation. “Many people who live in Brazilian cities don’t know what was done in Brazil. They do not know the true saga that has occurred in this country over the last five decades. And if this happened it was because visionaries like Alysson Paulinelli and Eliseu Alves structured a sustainable agricultural research system for Brazil. No other country in the world today produces as much food and in such a sustainable way as Brazil. We feed 1,5 billion people across the globe and preserve 66,3% of Brazilian territory,” he stated. 

The president also highlighted the work of all public and private partner institutions present at the ceremony, through their representatives: municipal and state authorities, State Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply of Minas GeraisFAEMG system e ScreenplayAbramilhoematerEpamig, educational institutions, producer cooperatives and unions.

Managers Daniel Portella Montardeo (Embrapa South Livestock, from Bagé-RS), Pedro Braga Arcuri (Embrapa Dairy Cattle, from Juiz de Fora-MG), represented by the general head of that Unit Paulo Martins. Rafael Vivian (Embrapa Genetic Resources and Biotechnology, from Brasília-DF) and Esdras Sundfeld (Embrapa Food Agroindustry, from Rio de Janeiro-RJ).

Innovations in Agro 

At the end of the ceremony, the “Connections for Innovation in Agro” moment brought together potential partners with the aim of favoring the construction and delivery of solutions. Four “cases” were presented: corn transgenics, with Embrapa’s new portfolio of cultivars with the VTPRO2 event; insect biofactories, with strategies for gains in scale; online training for Agro (content and Embrapa brand); and intelligent fertilization, with information on efficient management in soils with built fertility. 

Profile and team

Frederico Durães took over as Chief on October 14th, was officially sworn in on November 11th and will hold the position at Embrapa Milho e Sorgo for two years, a period that can be extended twice, making it possible to reach six years, as per advocates the State Law. With a post-doctorate in the area of ​​Plant Ecophysiology from the University of Florida, in the United States, Durães has been a researcher at Embrapa since 1982 and has held several management positions, such as general management of two Units: from 2006 to 2011, at Agroenergia ( Brasília-DF), and from 2013 to 2018, at Embrapa Produtos e Mercado, also based in the federal capital.

Durães is from Curvelo, a city located in the Central region of Minas Gerais, from Minas Gerais, and has the following team of managers: researcher Maria Marta Pastina, in the Deputy Head of Research and Development; researcher Lauro José Moreira Guimarães, at the Head of Technology Transfer; and researcher Roberto Willians Noda, head of the Deputy Head of Administration.

Mosaic Biosciences March 2024