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ICBA partners with Brazilian agricultural research corporation

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

The International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) and the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation, known as Embrapa (Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária), have agreed to collaborate on boosting sustainable agriculture and food security, among other things, in Brazil and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The cooperation was recently formalized through a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by Dr. Ismahane Elouafi, Director General of ICBA, and Dr. Celso Luiz Moretti, President of Embrapa, a public corporation attached to the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Food Supply of the Federative Republic of Brazil.

The main objective of the agreement is to work together in the areas of natural resources management, climate change, genetic resources, and agricultural production systems. Moreover, the agreement focuses on introducing salt-tolerant crops and expanding the existing knowledge of sustainable agricultural development. 

As part of the agreement, ICBA and Embrapa also agreed to exchange germplasm material of salt-tolerant crops, which include Brazilian native plants and forages, including buffel grass, saltbush and forage palm. 

Speaking of the partnership, Dr. Ismahane Elouafi, Director General of ICBA, said: "We are delighted to move forward with our strategic partnership with Embrapa. This collaboration creates an exceptional opportunity for ICBA and Embrapa to join forces and develop new food systems that will serve smallholders in harsh and saline environments."

For his part, Dr. Celso Luiz Moretti, President of Embrapa, said: "ICBA is a reference institution with expertise in environments with very low water availability, and exchange of knowledge with Embrapa is an opportunity to generate significant advances in research on the topic. The portfolio of coexistence with drought, led by Embrapa Semiárido (semi-arid), seeks efficient technological solutions for regions with these characteristics. We believe that it is possible to advance a lot from this partnership."

The agreement follows a recent visit by a Brazilian delegation led by Dr. Celso Luiz Moretti to ICBA.

Since its formation in 1999, ICBA has implemented programs in around 40 countries in the Middle East, North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, Central Asia, and the Caucasus. Over the years, the center has expanded its network of partners in more than 60 countries to increase the reach and impact of its programs.

With Embrapa joining ICBA's global network of partners, the collaboration will enable both organizations to tap into each other's expertise and boost research and development for the benefit of farmers living in marginal environments.