Monday, May 4, 2009




A Technology and Innovation Seminar

"From Agriculture in the Tropics to Research and Technology Based Tropical Agriculture: The Brazilian Experience"

Dr. Félix Humberto França, Embrapa Labex-USA at USDA /Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville, MD.

When: May 13, 2009 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM


1957 E Street, Room 602, Washington, DC 20052

The widespread concern that undeveloped countries may succumb to famine and diseases due to food shortages is not recent. To address that, concerted international responses were implemented in the 1950s, 60s and 70s with relative success in a few countries. In the last 35 years Brazil evolved from a large importer of agricultural goods into one of the major global players in the agricultural sector. Public investment in education, infrastructure and research and development and innovation in agriculture provided the foundation for change. One of the major strategic decisions for transforming the country from a stage of food dependency subsistence low input agriculture or “agriculture in the tropics” to a commercial technologically advanced food sustainable/crop production system or “tropical agriculture” was the creation of Embrapa-The Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation in 1973. Embrapa’s experiences in north-south/south-south collaborative networks for innovation in the last three decades and prospects for the future will be presented.

Félix H. França is a researcher of Embrapa-The Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation since 1977. He received the B.S. degree in agronomy from University of Brasilia in Brazil, M.Sc. in entomology from Texas A&M University and a Ph.D. degree in Entomology and Plant Breeding from Cornell University . He was Research Fellow with the Brazilian National Research Council [CNPq], from 1993 to 2002 and his research has been published in Latin America, as well as in Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science and American Potato Journal. Previously, he was the executive secretary of the Horticultural Sectorial Chamber of the Ministry of Agriculture in Brazil, Fruits & Vegetables Research Program and MacroProgram II – Sustainability and Competitiveness of the Agricultural Sector at Embrapa. Currently, he is the coordinator of Labex-USA, a virtual laboratory/partnership model that explores new and mutually beneficial collaborations in agricultural research between Embrapa and USDA Agricultural Research Service and Forest Service.

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