The agreement between the Mercosur and the EU, which is still waiting for its ratification between both parts, presents itself as essential in several aspects to the South American block. That’s because the protectionism is growing in the global market and in the region goals, such as diversification of exportation products and its added value growth – two conditions that will be boosted by the agreement. The subject was one of the themes discussed during the 7th Agricultural Outlook Forum South America, that happened on the 5 and 6 September in Curitiba, Brazil.
According to the EU trade policy expert Emily Rees, the Mercosur is barely inserted in adding value chains, but after the deal this condition tends to change. “It will be a push towards an insertion that will continue”, she explained. “This agreement will create spaces. Together both blocs represent 25% of the global GDP. The alignment will allow the creation of a competition in a 726 million people universe with a variety of demands, but also with a variety of products”, said Emily.
About the differentiated products Emily points out the geographic identification recognition, a market that moves 50 billion dollars in the international market. Through the agreement 450 new products were already recognized. Advances in the ground plan habilitation and sanitary issues were also reminded. The panel counted on the participation of the livestock policy expert of the Agriculture Ministry of Uruguay, Maria Noel Ackerman, and on the mediation of the general coordinator of Market Access in the Ministry of Agriculture and Supply (MAPA) Gustavo Cupertino, who acted in the agreement negotiations.
Key point to the agreement celebration and for the maintenance of both countries’ product offer with quality and quantity, the sustainability was also topic of discussion. For that matter, the UN representant for the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Brazil Rafael Zavala highlighted the protagonism of the region for future trends. “In 2050 there will be 10 billion people demanding food and to attend this need we must bring closer concepts that we’ve considered as opposites before”, he explained.
In this perspective, the coordinator of the CCEAGRO – Coordinating body of Specialized Agriculture Councils (Confea/Creas) Kleber Santos recalled the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (UN). “The family agriculture is fundamental to accomplish this agenda until 2030, contributing with cities to become safer, more resilient and more sustainable urban settings”, he said. An example is the city of Curitiba, that seeks to become reference in urban and in family agriculture. “Sometimes the final consumer doesn’t know that one could have the access to this kind of product or that it’s too far from reality, that’s why we must instigate the sustainable consuming models”, affirmed the Food and Nutritional Safety city Secretary Luiz Gusi.
Another model that searches for sustainability is the integration between the field, livestock and forestry, a technology that aims to unite these three sectors of production, through the use of adequate techniques, which bring benefits such as the enhancement of environmental and social issues. The topic was highlighted in a panel that counted on the participation of the John Deere Marketing Director João Pontes, of the Santa Brígida Farm proprietary (Ipameri, GO) Marize Porto Costa and of the Administrative Council President of Cocamar Luiz Lourenço.
The technology and digital platforms boom in the fields was presented during the Agritech Startup Challenge. Six startups presented their projects in the mainstage of the Forum to show their solutions and innovations proposed for the sector. After public vote, the Metha was the challenge winner. The startup from Curitiba developed a micro hydroelectric central, which can generate electric energy even with the minimum quantity of water. The challenges to advance in the use and dissemination of these tools in the fields however still exist.
The connection restrictions have been a neck of support for the technology innovations. According to the technology and innovation services coordinator of the National Service of Industrial Apprenticeship (SENAI) Silvana Kumura this is one of the biggest challenges that prevents the production evolution. “Our big challenge is to increase the food production, but in a sustainable way. And these are the technologies that make an innovation easier to implement”, she highlights. The Embrapa researcher Débora Marcondes Pereira and Lindemberg Almeida, the communication and marketing SPRO Group manager were also in the debate.
About the Agricultural Outlook Forum South America
7th Agricultural Outlook Forum South America t’s 2019. The pilot project of the forum was carried in 2013 and brought to Foz do Iguaçu (PR) more than 500 attendees to discuss the challenges and opportunities of the new expansion cycle of the world’s production of grains. Since then, the event has meet experts and participants from around the world, bringing to the fore subjects such as innovation and sustainability, urban development by the rural economy and succession in the field. In 2019, the theme is “From production to market – Global and sustainable”.
The forum is promoted by the Agribusiness Center of Gazeta do Povo (AgroGP). It has the support of the Sistema Ocepar e OCB, the City Council of Curitiba, the Sistema Confea-Crea, the Sistema Fiep, the CME Group, the Sanepar, the Copel and the Southern Agricultural Council (CAS).