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Brazil, Paraguay and UN Team Up to Fight Pest Weevil

A three-way agreement was recently signed between Brazil, Paraguay and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to fight Paraguay’s pest weevil.

Paraguay’s cotton fields have been ravaged recently by the pest weevil and the new international pact is designed to destroy the pest and make cotton a cash crop for the country’s growers. Small rural cotton farmers will be among the major beneficiaries of the agreement, along with the domestic cotton industry and the Paraguayan economy. Another anticipated positive result will be the development of the Paraguayan textile industry.

U.S. and E.U. garment makers, textile companies and end users have been looking to South America in recent years as a potentially new source of cotton. The agreement could accelerate that evolving sourcing trend as Asian and Southeast Asian cotton prices increase along with wages. A collateral benefit to South American nations as  a result of a robust cotton sector, although it has yet to develop, is the potential for those nations to become manufacturing sources as well.

As part of the program, new Paraguayan government policies will be implemented to increase cotton production and growers will receive the  technical information necessary to maximize yields.

A public statement from Paraguay’s Ministry of Foreign Relatrions said the tri-lateral agreement — called Strengthening Cooperation Program of the Cotton Sector through South-South Cooperation — was signed by Paraguayan Minister of Foreign Affairs Eladio Loizaga; Fernando Jose Marroni de Abreu, director general of Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC); and United Nations resident coordinator in Paraguay Dona Cecilia Ugaz.

The Brazilian Cotton Institute (IBA) will provide $2.03 million in funding for the three-way initiative through Brazil’s ABC and the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA).