Brazil & India: A Resilient Partnership of two Agriculture Powerhouses
In the last decades, Brazil and India have become agricultural powerhouses. Gains in productivity and sustainability have contributed to improved food security and sustainable development, generating significant benefits not only for both the countries but for the whole world. Brazilian and Indian agricultural stakeholders have been firm partners to advance these goals, writes Dalci Bagolin, Agricultural Attaché, Embassy of Brazil, New Delhi.
To build strong bilateral cooperation and in the lead-up to the State visit by President Jair Bolsonaro to India, in January 2020, the Minister of Agriculture of Brazil, Tereza Cristina, held a full agenda of meetings with her ministerial counterparts in India, in which both the governments committed to expanding our partnership even further in key areas for the future.
In the last 40 years, Brazil’s agricultural and livestock production methods have transformed dramatically. The country went from being a food importer to one of the world’s largest exporters of farm products. During this period, Brazilian agricultural production grew by 385 percent, while the land area dedicated to agriculture increased by only 32 percent. This transformation of agriculture and livestock is the result of decades of innovation and development to adapt agriculture to the tropics, with ongoing productivity gains and production intensification. This success has made Brazil a leader in the global food security scenario. Brazil uses only 30 percent of its land for agriculture while 66 percent of its territory remains preserved with native vegetation. In 2012, Brazil approved its Forest Code, which creates the legal framework for the integration of sustainable development in its three dimensions — environmental, economic and social — as a central feature of agricultural production in Brazilian rural properties.
In the last ten years, Brazil made considerable progress disseminating the Low-Carbon Agriculture Plan (ABC Plan) in connection with the National Policy on Climate Change. The ABC Plan is a public policy composed of a set of actions aimed at increasing the use of sustainable agriculture technologies with high potential in mitigating GHG emission and fighting global warming. The ABC Plan resulted in an intervention of 59 million hectares, which accounts for 25 percent of the areas occupied by the Brazilian agriculture and livestock activities, representing an investment of US $7 billion. The ABC Plan framework includes seven Programs: Recovery of Degraded Pastures; Integrated Crop-Livestock-Forestry Systems and Agroforestry Systems; Notill Farming Systems; Biological Nitrogen Fixation; Planted Forests; Animal Waste Treatment; and Climate Change Adaptation.