Following the Philippine Department of Agriculture – Sugar Regulatory Administration (DA-SRA)’s visit to São Paulo, Brazil early this year, delegates from the Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC) and the Embassy of Brazil in Manila met with DA officials on August 29 to discuss areas for cooperation between the two countries to boost its sugarcane and ethanol industries.
As one of the leading countries in sugarcane and ethanol production, Brazil offers academic programs related to the sugarcane industry and incorporating ethanol in its national energy grid.
Engr. Laverne Olalia, Research Development and Extension Department Manager of the DA-SRA, stressed that the Philippines can learn from Brazil’s best practices on soil development and management, mealing practices, and farm technologies to improve local production.
He added that based on the SRA’s observations during its visit to the country last January, Brazil’s best practices and innovations can be adapted to the Philippine setting.
The Brazilian delegates recommended bringing in a team of experts to the Philippines to facilitate knowledge-sharing initiatives that are geared towards the expansion of sugarcane plantations, the promotion of farm efficiency, enhancing meal conversion, improving production chains, and lowering production costs in the Philippines.
DA Assistant Secretary for Policy Research and Development Noel Padre and ABC Technical Cooperation with Africa, Asia, and Oceania Manager Antonio Junqueira assured to strengthen the forged partnership between the Philippines and Brazil for the benefit of the sugarcane and ethanol industry players.
Both countries are now in talks regarding the possible development of the sugar and ethanol industries.
Also present during the visit were DA Assistant Secretary for Regulations Paz Benavidez II and Dr. Octavio Valsechi, an Agroindustrial Technology professor at Federal University of São Carlos. ### (Krystelle Ymari A. Vergara, DA-AFID)