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Brazil is too important a food producer to depend on fertilizer imports, the industry says

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News Tech: SAO PAULO, Aug 23 (Reuters) – Global fertilizer companies operating in Brazil can increase local output of important crop nutrients if the government continues to improve the regulatory framework for the sector, industry representatives said on Tuesday.

Marcelo Altieri, chief executive of the local unit of Norway’s Yara International (YAR.OL), said during a morning panel discussion that Brazil’s reliance on imports represents a threat to global food security, as the country is one of the world’s largest food suppliers.

Speaking at a day-long industry event, major players said Brazil is too important a food producer to depend on fertilizer imports.

On the sidelines of the event, however, Altieri declined to comment on whether Yara would be interested in bidding for a nitrogen-based fertilizer project up for sale by Brazil’s oil major Petroleo Brasileiro (PETR4.SA). read more

The government also improved tax legislation that tended to favor imports, a Mosaic executive said.

“To depend on imports not only penalizes the country, but also the world,” Arthur Liacre, an executive for Brazil’s Mosaic Fertilizantes, said during an afternoon panel discussion. Liacre recalled that 25 years ago, local production of the NPK fertilizer mixture was sufficient to cater to 55% of Brazil’s needs. Today it is a little below 10%, he noted.

Ibram, a mining trade lobby, said at the event that it backs mining on Brazil’s indigenous territory, which the Constitution allows, as a way to cut fertilizer import dependence. Toronto-based Brazil Potash Corp is planning to open a potash mine in the Amazon. read more .

In Southern Brazil, Australia’s Aguia Resources Ltd (AGR.AX) hopes to build the region’s first phosphate mine by late 2023. RegisterReporting by Ana Mano
Editing by Bill Berkrot

Source: Reuters Trust Principles.

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