Friday, December 20, 2013

Scientists help Brazilian farmers adapt to climate change

The Raw Story via AFP: Hundreds of scientists are helping Brazil’s giant agricultural sector prepare for the effects of climate change and anticipate pests that hit neighboring countries. Spearheading the effort is the Brazilian Agriculture Research Corporation (Embrapa), a state agency tasked with developing and extending technology to support sustainable farming.

“We have 400 investigators currently focusing on how to adapt our agriculture to climate change,” said Embrapa chief Mauricio Lopes. “We have a tropical climate and it is the first to be affected by these variations.”

Brazil, South America’s biggest country in terms of size and population, has gradually emerged as an agricultural powerhouse. A net importer of farm products in the 1970s, it now ranks among the world’s five top agricultural producers and exporters and serves as a model for many developing countries. It ranks only second to the United States for biofuel production.

Lopes said Embrapa is studying the effects of rising temperatures on crops “30, 40, 100 years” from now. “Where will we have to move coffee, sugarcane and corn production? We are carefully anticipating the potential impacts of climate change in areas where we are adapting the crops,” he said....

A cotton field in Brazil, shot by João Felipe C.S, public domain

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