CABI’s centre in São Paulo, Brazil, was opened at the end of 2010. It operates across the whole of South America, providing high quality scientific knowledge, information and expertise to the South American nations. This is a region with a diverse climate and highly sensitive environments, where a wide range of crops and livestock are farmed and traded, particularly coffee and cocao. The region presents significant opportunities for improving the efficiency and sustainability of agriculture.
The centre supports CABI’s global Plantwise programme, and works with partner institutions in Bolivia and Peru to reduce crop losses. It also implements projects related to integrated pest management (IPM), and biological control of invasive weeds and forest pests. Smallholder farmers are encouraged to use IPM approaches to control pests and the centre works to identify practical and reliable methods of pest control, which also protect the environment and the health of the local community.
Food security is important for countries in the region and the centre encourages them to embrace sustainable production methods. The centre also works to improve information sharing and communication between farmers and other stakeholders.
The centre collaborates with a number of organizations across the region, from local and national governments to universities and commercial enterprises. Examples of mutually beneficial relationships include collaboration with EMBRAPA, an important agricultural institution in Brazil, and the São Paulo universities, UNESP and ESALQ.
Work carried out by the centre is having a positive impact on the region’s economy and environment. Colombia and Chile are both CABI member countries, and CABI hopes to be able to welcome other nations in the region as members in the future.
Looking ahead, the centre will continue to strengthen CABI’s presence in the region, opening new projects and creating opportunities for further co-operation with the nations of South America.