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Itaipu co-sponsoring project meant to decentralize FAO offices
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The cooperation agreement to set up the first Brazilian unit in charge of coordinating projects by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations was signed last Monday (25th) at the State Office of Agriculture and Supply (SEAB), in Curitiba. Jorge Samek, the Brazilian general director, and Herlon Goelzer de Almeida, advisor to the Brazilian General Executive Board and coordinator of Itaipu's Sustainability Management System, attended the ceremony.
The office is going to operate at Instituto Emater, in the capital, and its purpose will be to identify positive agricultural experiences in the states of Paraná, Santa Catarina, and Rio Grande do Sul. A second office is also going to be set up in Foz do Iguaçu, at the Itaipu Technological Park (PTI), in April.

The project is a partnership between FAO, SEAB, the Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC), and Itaipu – whose participation includes helping fund the operating maintenance of FAO's two units in Curitiba and Foz, and providing space for the second office at PTI. The offices' budget is USD 320,000 a year. The binational company will be providing an annual USD 120,000 for three years; and ABC, the other USD 200,000 yearly.

Paraná was chosen as the project's seat because of the state's agricultural importance and number of positive experiences carried out by the initiative's partners.
"Paraná has become an outdoor lab of good farming practices, which reconcile production and environmental conservation," Samek said.

According to Alan Bojanic, FAO's representative for Brazil, decentralizing the entity's offices "is a considerable experience in generosity.” “We want to take the successful experiences of the southern states to Latin American and African countries, and bring technicians from those countries to acquire knowledge here”, he explained.
He also highlighted that the agreement is a historic landmark for the southern states. "So far, FAO has only had offices in country capitals. This is a pilot experience that may be taken to other areas in Brazil, such as the Northeast and the Amazon".
The activities, initiatives, programs, and projects to be "exported" include fostering rural sustainable development; food and nutritional security; food production; environmental conservation; soil and water conservation; plant and animal health; fostering renewable energies and social-productive inclusion focused on expanding and strengthening family agriculture.