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14/05/2017 - 16:44hs

Kuwait looks to increase agribusiness imports from Brazil

The intention was expressed by Kuwaiti government officials to Brazil’s minister of Agriculture Blairo Maggi, who is leading a delegation on a trip to four Gulf countries.

Kuwait City – Kuwait is looking to step up its imports of Brazilian agribusiness products, including livestock, sheep, fertile eggs and day-old chickens. So said this Sunday (14) the livestock imports manager at the Public Authority for Agriculture Affairs and Fish Resources, Abdulrahman Kandari, to the Brazilian minister of Agriculture Blairo Maggi.

Alexandre Rocha/ANBA

Delegates shared information with farming industry authorities

“Brazil does not export livestock to Kuwait yet. We would like to discuss the importation of livestock from Brazil,” said Kandari. “We are interested in importing livestock, sheep, fertile eggs, and day-old chickens,” he added.

The minister replied that in 2016, the Brazilian government submitted a sanitary agreement proposal to Kuwait to enable livestock trade. “We export [livestock] to other countries in the region. We have the interest, the supplies, and we would like to join this market,” he said. “We are also interested in supplying fertile eggs and chickens,” he stressed.

Maggi noted that all it takes is for the two countries to enter into the necessary agreements before the deals can happen. “Excellent. We are willing to initiate these talks,” said Kandari.

Brazilian agribusiness exports to Kuwait reached USD 81 million from January to April, up 18% from a year ago. Poultry is, by far, the top-selling item.

The minister is leading a government-and-business delegation on a trip to four Gulf countries, beginning in Kuwait. The Arab nation imports 95% of its food needs.

At the Public Authority for Agriculture, Maggi presented an overview of Brazil’s agricultural industry and of the delegation’s goals: to increase bilateral trade and to reassure the Kuwaitis of the quality of Brazilian meats, whose reputation was tarnished by the Brazilian Federal Police’s operation Carne Fraca.

Alexandre Rocha/ANBA

Brazilians visit a date seedling nursery

Maggi was welcomed to the Authority’s offices by the deputy director-general for Animal Health Zahra Al-Wazan. He told her that the probe into suspected non-compliance from meat packers and Ministry inspectors targets 21 establishments, out of a total of over 5,000 in Brazil, and 33 Ministry officials out of over 11,000.

“Our industry sells to 150-plus countries, and non-compliance is low enough to meet any international standards,” he said. “The goal of this trip is to be able to explain this to governments, and we would like to expand our markets as much as possible,” he said.

Kuwait placed a ban on imports of goods from the 21 meat packers under probe, but he Brazilian government itself had already suspended these companies’ export licenses as soon as the operation was launched. The minister guaranteed that sanitary inspections in Brazil are thorough. “This is our business; if we lose it, then we have nothing,” he asserted. “We export to the strictest markets in the world, and we have been successful so far,” he said.

Maggi was accompanied by the Ministry’s International Relations secretary Odilson Luiz Ribeiros e Silva, by the president of the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa), Maurício Antônio Lopes, by the Brazilian ambassador in Kuwait, Norton Rapesta, by the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce’s president Rubens Hannun and CEO Michel Alaby, and other delegates.

Also attending the meeting on the Kuwaiti side were the Public Authority for Agriculture’s vice Technical Affairs director Reem Al Fulaij, research manager Samir Al Zurqui, animal research laboratory director Maha Al Batel, and International affairs director Shurook Boodi.


Alexandre Rocha/ANBA

Executives will present investment projects in Brazil

This Sunday, the delegation also visited the Kuwait Institute of Scientific Research (KISR), where they were welcomed by director-general Samira Omar. The organization does research into several subjects, including desert farming. “I see several fields of mutual interest,” the Embrapa president said. “We could have a workshop involving researchers [from both countries] to find opportunities to cooperate.” Omar suggested.

The group toured the premises, including a date seedling nursery, laboratories, an experimental lettuce crop, and several vegetable-based fabric crops.

Maggi also convened at the embassy of Brazil with Brazilian executives who are traveling with the mission. On Monday (15), a seminar will be held at the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry where investment and trade opportunities will be presented. “This is a strategic moment for Brazilian agribusiness, and this mission will make a difference,” said Rubens Hannun.

The companies and organizations represented in the delegation deal in poultry, fish farming, tropical fruits, beef, livestock, logistics, sheep farming, and ports, among other industries.

*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum

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