Interview with FGV coordinator Cleber Guarany about the ProSavana Project in Mozambique.

Terraviva | May 2013

Interview with FGV coordinator Cleber Guarany about the ProSavana Project in Mozambique.

This interview of Canal Terraviva (Agribusiness Channel) with FGV Projeto's coordinator, Cleber Guarany was posted on the FGV Projeto’s official site

The date of interview is not posted on the FGV Projeto’s site, but according to the Terraviva’s site, it was broadcasted on May 3, 2013 , right after FGV’s presentation in Japan (on April 2, 2013) and the US (supposed to be in the middle of April, 2013?). .

1.Explanation appears on the FGV Projeto’s site
O coordenador de projetos Cleber Guarany concedeu entrevista sobre o Fundo de Investimentos em Agricultura para o Corredor de Nacala ao Terraviva , canal de agronegócios do Grupo Bandeirantes de Comunicação . A entrevista foi para o programa Consultor Terraviva, que vai ao ar de segunda a sexta, às 20h, apresentado por Silmar Müller e Tobias Ferraz.
O programa tem o objetivo de retratar o agronegócio brasileiro, mostrando oportunidades, investimentos e prestando consultoria ao agricultor brasileiro.

Canal Terraviva entrevista Cleber Guarany

2. Tentative English Translation of the interview from 6 min. up to 16 min.

Q (femle): Please explain the origins of this project

C. Guarany:
- The project along the Nacala Corridor is a very interesting project for Brazilian agriculture.
- With this regard, we should remember the geographical similarity between Africa and Brazil, and Brazil's high agricultural technology in grain production.
- Particularly, in Mozambique, located in East Africa, African Savannah, has similar biological characteristics with the Brazilian Cerrado.
- Especially in Northern Mozambique, there is 14 million ha of suitable for agriculture.
- Due to this opportunity, with our project, Brazilian producers will go to Mozambique, and with Mozambican producers, they will create a new "corridor of supplement".

Q (male): So, it is not true to say "Brazil is the last frontier of agriculture on planet", you mean. In another word, there is still "Land (espaço/space) for Growth", also in Africa, is this what you mean?

C. Guarany:
- Yes, yes. In summary, there is a lot of land (espaço/space).
- In African tropical savannah, we have a lot of area which has not been explored yet, and also a lot of degraded land, where we can produce food.
- The northern region of Mozambique is our central focus of our project since it has exceptional climate, soil that is similar to the one of the Cerrado, and we have this opportunity to produce food there.
- In another word, Brazil is not the last frontier.

Q (female): We would like to know the origins of this project. Was it an initiative of Brazil?

C. Guarany:
- The initiative of this project was trilateral. Cooperation among Brazil, Mozambique and Japan.
- The idea is to repeat what has done with PRODECER years back here in Brazil, in the Cerrado. It transformed Central-West part of Brazil into a great food producing region.
- As I talked earlier, Northern Mozambique has similar characteristics with the Cerrado.

Q (male): You are a coordinator of this project, too?

C. Guarany:
- Yes. I coordinate the activities of FGV Projeto in Mozambique, and also coordinate all the international relations related to agriculture for FGV.

Q (male): Please explain dimension of this project, what it is, what you are involving with in this new area.
Q (female): Including impacts of this project here at home. (??)

C. Guarany:
- First slide shows clearly biological similarity between the two regions, tropical.
- And we have enormous experiences in producing food.
- This is the reason of focus of FGV and international circle.

Q (male): Yes. Your map shows Mato Grosso in the same parallel with Southern Africa, where Mozambique is located, isn't it?

C. Guarany:
- Exactly. It is in the same parallel.
- Thus, we take advantage of all the technologies that Brazil has and come to obtain, much more than other countries.
- Although the US is a big producer, they don't have the same climate or temperature that one can find here and in that region (Northern Mozambique).

Q (female): What this slide (Slide 2) is indicating exactly?

C. Guarany:
- This shows where FGV has projects. There are 14 countries-projects, and FGV has profound knowledge of 20 countries.

10:10- <>
Q (male): Now the other theme. The soil of this African savannah is similar with that of the Cerrado, you said?

C. Guarany:
- Similar, but in reality, the soil (of Northern Mozambique) is a little bit better.
- It is more "structured", and less acid compared with that of the Cerrado.
- Regarding its productivities (of the soil in Northern Mozambique), we have been testing, and the outcomes are very positive.

Q (male): So, the soil there is less acid, and this means less cost in production since you need less fertilizer, contrary to our Cerrado.

C. Guarany:
- Yes. It's less costly. Exactly.
- Also, there should be added one more factor. There they still don't have the disease and there are no locusts that we have here.
- Logically, we expect to develop a new project, but these new diseases. (??)
- Of course, locusts are everywhere, but for the moment, this factor attracts us.

Q (male): Another point is the size. "14 millions of hectors (of land)" you mentioned is a big thing, isn't it?

C. Guarany:
- Certainly. 14 millions hectors are available for agriculture, and majority of them are degraded (or arable ?).
- More importantly, the Mozambican government together with local communities have been engaging with these projects very much.
- The idea is for Brazilian producers to work with Mozambican producers as partners.
- Brazilian producers go there to plant in's not what we want.
- This project is for partnership, Brazilians can build capacity of Mozambicans, help creation of associations, together with them transfer all of our technologies, and connect with huge markets such as China and probably Japan.

Q (male): How doess this project function? What is the distribution of this project, and at which stage is this project now?

C. Guarany:
- The project, well, the Program ProSAVANA, is targeting 19 districts along the entire corridor of Nacala in Northern Mozambique.
- For FGV, we have an initiative of an investment fund called Fund de Nacala.
- We are collecting 15 millions of dollars for developing 300,000 ha (of land) for producing rise, maize, soybean and cotton.
- That is the first phase.

Q (female): Do you have any comments on this?
A (male):
- I think this land is very interesting since as the slide shows the biomass of the Cerrado is very similar to the one of Nacala Corridor, soil and climate also.
- Another point is its location.
- Mozambique is in East Africa, facing to Indian Ocean, thus closer to big buyers of commodities, such as soybeans, India and China.

C. Guarany:
- Yes, yes. From Brazil it takes more than 30-40 days by ship to reach these markets, but from Mozambique, it is only 15 days.
- Logistics is a fundamental issue.

Q (male): More than just being close to big consumers of Asia such as China and India, the advantage (of the project) is that the region where productions occur is close to a port, isn't it?

C. Guarany:
- Certainly. The infra-structure part is the strong point of this project.
- There is a deep-water port called Nacala Port, which is the deepest in East Africa.
- Also, a good bay.
- You have railway all along the corridor that we can use for transporting grain.
- You have various cities and districts where labor (mão-de-obra) is available although you need to improve their qualification(?).
- Our project is to build capacity of these producers.

Q (female): How are you sharing the information of this project? Recently, you have visited the US, and introduced this project to the authority and investors in Washington. Also, how are you diffusing information in these three countries?

C. Guarany:
- This aspect of the project is easy.
- We are in the phase of fund-raising and capacity building.
- We gave presentations in Europe, Japan, and the US.
- Recently 1 week ago, at a special event in Washington DC, we are the only organization to talk, and we made a presentation.
- We organize these shows to make this investment fund possible, and organized it even in Brazil.
- Although this fund is a private one, it has a social part, attending to small farmers.
- Generally speaking, we will have large, medium and small scale production, all integrated into the same value chain system.
- We talk about rice, soybean, maize and cotton, in the first phase.

Who's involved?

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