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World Agroforestry Centre and Embrapa sign cooperation agreement

Manoel Teixeira de Souza, head of agroenergy with the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) (left) and Ravi Prabhu, ICRAF deputy director general for research, sign the cooperation agreement between Embrapa and ICRAF, on 19 August 2014

Manoel Teixeira de Souza, head of agroenergy with the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) (left) and Ravi Prabhu, ICRAF deputy director general for research, sign the cooperation agreement between Embrapa and ICRAF, on 19 August 2014

A cooperation agreement signed between the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) in Brasilia builds on a longstanding relationship between the two institutions.

Ravi Prabhu, ICRAF deputy director general for research, said Embrapa’s agricultural research is internationally renowned, and “this MoU opens up great possibilities for collaboration between ICRAF and Embrapa, not just within Brazil but in other areas of mutual interest, such as Central America, the Caribbean and sub-Saharan Africa, regions where both institutions already have active programs.”

A specific effort underway is a four-year Programme for the Development of Alternative Biofuel Crops, which is being implemented by ICRAF with partners in South Asia, Latin America and Africa, including Embrapa. It is funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

According to Prabhu, the program is designed to conduct research and development along biofuel value chains while also strengthening food security and improving the livelihoods of smallholder farmers.

In Brazil, the program is focused in the Northeast, looking at research gaps that limit development and scaling up of pro-poor macaúba value chains. A palm tree native to tropical America, the highly productive macaúba has nontoxic oil-bearing fruits that can be used for many purposes along the value chain, including production of animal feed, fuel briquettes, activated charcoal and cosmetics. The tree is drought tolerant and often grows on poor soils.

ICRAF is partnering with Embrapa and other centres of excellence to develop silvopastoral and agroforestry systems in the Northeast region that integrate food crops and/or livestock with macaúba trees, benefitting smallholder producers.

Jonathan Cornelius, regional coordinator of ICRAF in Latin America, also present at the signing on Aug. 19, said that ICRAF has a long history of collaboration with Embrapa in Brazil, pointing to the ASB partnership and the Amazon Initiative.

“For ICRAF-Latin America,” said Cornelius, “the signing of this MoU opens up exciting new vistas for joint researchnot just in the highly promising area of biofuels but also in new areas of participatory research in themes such as silvopastoral systems, land rehabilitation and oil palm agroforestry. We are looking forward to working with our Embrapa colleagues in developing these and other lines of activity.”

Written by Nona Marie Sheck of ICRAF Latin America regional office.

Related links

The Bioenergy Forum

Programme for the Development of Alternative Biofuel Crops

The ICRAF Latin American regional office has headquarters in Lima, Peru, with offices concentrating on Amazonia in Pucallpa, Peru and Belem, Brazil, and one in Turrialba, Costa Rica, that focuses on work in Central America.

For more information, contact:

ICRAF Latin America regional office; Telephones + 51 1 349-6017, 349-6021, 348-5134; E-mail: ICRAF_LA@cgiar.org


Daisy Ouya

Daisy Ouya

Daisy Ouya is a science writer and communications specialist with the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF). Over the past 15 years she has been packaging and disseminating scientific knowledge in the fields of entomology, agriculture, health, HIV/AIDS research, and marine science. Daisy is a Board-certified Editor in the Life Sciences (bels.org) and has a Masters’ degree in chemistry from the University of Connecticut, USA. Her BSc is from the University of Nairobi in her native Kenya. She has worked as a journal editor, science writer, publisher, and communications strategist with various organizations. She joined ICRAF in July 2012. Twitter: @daisyouya

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