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Brazil Looking to Solve FMD Problem

19 February 2010

BRAZIL - Flávio Botelho, agronomy professor at the University of Brasília (UnB), recognises that the budget for the agricultural sector as a whole, including that of the Ministry of Agrarian Development and Science and Technology, has grown in recent years. However, the specialist points out that what is more essential is the observation of how the funds are used.

"If you turn 1 real to Embrapa (the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation), it is guaranteed that the medium term return should be anything from 30, 40 to 50 reals. Funds turned to research are very beneficial. Now, Brazil still needs to solve problems like foot and mouth,” he recalls.

The budget turned to actions directly connected to control, prevention and eradication of diseases in animals as well as plant pests has also been expanded this year. In 2010, the funds turned to the sector should reach 231.2 million reals (US$ 125.5 million) programmed for investment in these activities. The figure represents growth of 37 per cent over the volume of funds forecasted for 2009, 168.4 million reals (US$ 91.4 million). However, last year just 124.4 million reals (US$ 67.5 million) were invested: 74 per cent.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Agriculture pointed out that not all of the funds approved in the Annual Budget Law last year were made available for investment, which explains the difference in funds forecasted and what was truly disbursed.

This year, the government’s target is for the whole of Brazil to be free of foot and mouth disease with vaccination. The intention also produces reflexes in greater funds for prevention activities, control and eradication, as the North and Northeastern states and regions should receive funds to become considered free of the disease. Furthermore, according to the organisation, there are also high expenses for maintenance of the sanitary situation in units of the federation that are already considered free of the virus.”



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