Marcos Montes will travel to Mexico and Dominican Republic to sign agreements that will benefit pork producers
Marcos Montes — Foto: Divulgação
Outgoing Agriculture Minister Marcos Montes wants to use the remaining two months in office to expand the number of markets open for Brazilian agribusiness products and get more funds for rural insurance.
Mr. Montes will travel to Mexico and the Dominican Republic to sign agreements to open those markets to Brazilian pork. The two countries are currently reliant on imports from the United States. He also mulls going to a business fair in the Middle East in December.
Other openings may materialize without trips. A mission from Indonesia will arrive in Brazil on November 19, two months after Mr. Montes’s visit to Jakarta. In September, Brazilian officials discussed the expansion of exports and the opening of markets for beef, bovine genetic material, and live cattle.
Despite a canceled trip to Asia last week, there are still chances to close agreements with South Korea for beef and pork exports this year, said the minister. The agreement with Japan, a country Brazil is trying to sell pork to from areas free of foot-and-mouth disease without vaccination, such as Paraná, will still depend on further talks led by the next administration.
Since 2019, 210 markets have been opened for agribusiness products and exports reached $122 billion between January and September this year. There is also great expectation with the conclusion of the United Kingdom’s technical mission, which visited plants and analyzed the Brazilian sanitary inspection system last month.
This is Britain’s first audit since the Brexit to recognize the equivalence of the agricultural defense services, which could open the doors for more beef and chicken slaughterhouses to be qualified to export there.
Although Brazilian trade with China continues to expand and the authorization given by the Chinese last week for the shipment of corn by 136 units is good news, Mr. Montes regretted that the Asians have not qualified more slaughterhouses to sell there. The latest list was approved in 2019.
“We are waiting, of course, for the opening of beef slaughterhouses. We keep talking, but it is difficult because of Covid there,” he said. “Maybe with a new administration they will change a little.” According to Mr. Montes, the pandemic blocked exports from plants that were already qualified. Seven slaughterhouses are still embargoed. Last week, two were authorized to resume sales. “I find it difficult to qualify any of them until the end of the year.”
Another mission of the minister until December 31 is to get more funds for rural insurance, but he indicated that it is up to the elected government’s negotiate the amount for 2023. He intended to get R$2 billion for next year, compared with R$990 million this year. “Our biggest concern is insurance. It has to be very robust.”
In July, the Board of Budget Execution (JEO), an advisory body of the president for the handling of the federal fiscal policy, approved an extra amount of R$200 million, then backtracked. Since early September, there are no extra funds for contracting subsided policies. “The JEO lifted the R$200 million previously approved vowing that it would release this amount until the end of the year, which would bring the budget to R$1.1 billion. But this is not enough,” he said.
The minister expects advances in the negotiations for the financing of national agriculture at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27), in Egypt. Members of two secretariats of the Ministry are at the event, which started Sunday.
“COP will mix environment with hunger and food security. It will be a milestone in how the world sees sustainability. We all want to preserve the environment, but not in the way that France wanted to do, preventing Brazil from producing.”
Mr. Montes said he will support legal changes to open up even more possibilities for issuing rural producer bills (CPRs). In October, the stock of these securities reached R$204 billion. The goal is to double this number in the next four years with the new legal adjustments.
The minister also hopes to advance in a project on the traceability of production, especially beef. A working group has been created between the Ministry and the Brazilian Confederation of Agriculture (CNA).
*By Rafael Walendorff — Brasília
Source: Valor International