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University of Minnesota Announces Agricultural Partnership With Brazil

MINNEAPOLIS – The University of Minnesota (UMN) and Brazil are joining forces to tackle problems of viable productivity growth in agriculture, sustainably. The Labex-Flex-UMN partnership will bring together Brazil and Minnesota to address many shared agricultural problems between both entities, such as pests, disease, soil management, climate and other weather risk challenges. 

“Streamlining research collaboration between agricultural research powerhouses, such as Embrapa and the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS), accelerates science-based sustainable productivity growth in local and global agriculture,” says Phil Pardey, CFANS applied economics professor and director of the International Science and Technology Practice and Policy (InSTePP) Center. Both Brazil and Minnesota are important global agricultural regions, and will mutually benefit from strategic collaboration in research and development.”

Labex-Flex-UMN, located on the UMN St. Paul campus, represents the first of a new form of virtual Embrapa laboratories linking Embrapa to a research university. The partnership, including the Supercomputing Institute and CFANS, will use big and small data to identify agricultural problems and work to develop actionable solutions. In addition, it will connect the University of Minnesota to Embrapa, the Brazilian equivalent of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, to extend and reimagine rapidly expanding local, national and international public-private research partnerships.  Embrapa’s Labex Program consists of a series of virtual laboratories staffed by Embrapa scientists located in selected sites throughout the world. 

The partnership was officially announced on May 30. Embrapa President Mauricio Lopes, as well as other Brazilian dignitaries, local food and agriculture CEOs and CFANS private industry research partners detailed how this endeavor will help farmers and food-system industries produce more food with fewer inputs while anticipating and adapting to agricultural production, climate and research realities worldwide.

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