Exclusive- India is a key partner to Brazil in various sectors: Indian Envoy

There are immense opportunities for the two countries to share best practices as well as exchange of expertise in cattle genomics & germ-plasm of the cattle breeds.

They discussed key areas of cooperation across the energy value chains including intensification of two-way trade in hydrocarbons.
They discussed key areas of cooperation across the energy value chains including intensification of two-way trade in hydrocarbons.

As the largest producer of and exporter of various agri products like sugar, corn, soybean, coffee, and much more, Brazil is recognized globally for its contribution in agri-business.  With its expertise in using ethanol as a source of renewable energy, Brazil and India can work together in this sector which would be of help in India’s journey towards adopting renewable energy as well as alternate fuel for its growing auto market. There are immense opportunities for the two countries to share best practices as well as exchange of expertise in cattle genomics & germ-plasm of the cattle breeds.

Engagement in the defence sector is also one of the key elements of strategic partnership between the two countries, says Ambassador Suresh K Reddy. According to him the Brazilian defence industries are quite advanced and they are interested in India’s Make in India initiative in the defence sector. Space is another area where the two sides have a strong bond. Space agencies of both sides – Indian Space Research Organisation and AEB are in regular talks on various aspects of space cooperation.

Recently, in Sao Paulo, Ambassador of India to Brazil Suresh K Reddy shared updates on bilateral cooperation in various sectors with Huma Siddiqui.

Following are excerpts:

For India’s food security there were talks about sourcing edible oil and pulses from Brazil, what is the update on that?

Brazil is an Agricultural powerhouse with the capacity to play a critical role in meeting the global food security challenge. We have an active partnership in the Agricultural sector through ICAR and its Brazilian counterpart EMBRAPA. We are also looking at initiating cooperation specifically for the coffee sector considering Brazil is the world’s largest producer of coffee. Brazil being the largest producer of soybean, naturally exports of soy oil is increasing to India. Similarly, sesame is also going up. On pulses, it is in its initial phase but the potential is high.

Following the Ukraine conflict, for India’s energy security, what is the status of crude import from Brazil?

India is the world’s third biggest oil importer, and Brazil has great oil reserves to support India’s growing demand. Hence it is in both India’s and Brazil’s interests to build a long term partnership in this sector and discussions are ongoing. Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had recently held talks (in April 2022) in Delhi with his Brazilian counterpart Bento Albuquerque, who was accompanied by representatives from the energy sector. They discussed key areas of cooperation across the energy value chains including intensification of two-way trade in hydrocarbons. A follow up visit is scheduled to take place later this month.

What about bringing ethanol related technology from Brazil?

As you are aware, we have achieved 10% ethanol blending ahead of target by 5 months and well on our way to realizing the target of 20% blending. Brazil has an ethanol mix of 27% in petrol and has vast experience and know-how in biofuels and flex fuel technology which we are looking to tap into. Here, all gasoline vehicles have flex-fuel engines and can run on 100% ethanol. We are looking to have Brazilian technology in ethanol production, flex-fuel technology, and many other associated technologies. The Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) and Brazilian National Centre for Research in Energy and Materials (CNPEM) are also working closely to carry out research on bioenergy.

During President Bolsonaro’s visit, we also signed a MoU for cooperation in biofuel and the progress is encouraging. Minister Bento Albuquerque was accompanied by major representatives from ethanol producers and auto manufacturers and they had a good interaction with the government and private sector representatives. We expect to have a delegation of ethanol producers visit Brazil shortly.

Cattle Genomics & germ-plasm of the cattle breeds?

This is an important area of engagement as it can significantly add to our goal of doubling farmers’ income. The visit ofParshottam Rupala, Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying to Brazil recently (from May 16 to 20, 2022) opened a new window of cooperation in Animal Husbandry and Dairying. 

India has been a key partner to Brazil in this sector as virtually all major top cattle breeds in Brazil have genetic material from imported Indian cattle. The Brazilian government & breeders have done excellent work in improving the cattle breeds and today both sides are engaged in sharing experience and expertise relating to Zebu Cattle Genomics and Assisted Reproduction Technologies especially for breeds of Indian origin in Brazil. 

What is the status of the Centre of Excellence in Cattle Genomics at Kalsi, Uttarakhand in India being built in collaboration with a Brazilian institute?

The work on establishing the Centre of Excellence in Cattle Genomics at Kalsi, Uttarakhand in India in collaboration with Brazil and the Embrapa Dairy Cattle Centre is progressing but the pandemic has delayed it. We have discussions ongoing between DAHD and Embrapa on this and we are hopeful to make progress under this soon. 

Get live Share Market updates and latest India News and business news on Financial Express. Download Financial Express App for latest business news.

Most Read In Defence
Photos