Swissnex Brazil, in partnership with the State Secretariat of Economic Development of Minas Gerais, held the AgriTech Experiences seminar on November 18th and 19th, in the city of Belo Horizonte. The event aimed to a place where experiences in research and application of innovative technologies in the agricultural sector could be shared between the state of Minas Gerais and Switzerland. The initiative opens possibilities for technological cooperation between Brazilian and Swiss institutions in the dairy and agrobiodiversity sectors for pest and disease management. The event was attended by institutions such as Agroscope (Switzerland), Secretary of State for Agriculture, Livestock and Supply (Seapa), the Minas Gerais Agricultural Research Corporation (Epamig), the Brazilian Micro and Small Enterprises’ Support Service (Sebrae), the Federation of Industries of the State of Minas Gerais (Fiemg) and the Federation of Agriculture and Livestock of the State of Minas Gerais (Faemg).
AgriTech Experiences took place at the Faemg auditorium with lectures, round tables and the presence of two researchers from Agroscope – the center of excellence for agricultural research in Switzerland. Dr. Petra Lüdin spoke about Swiss raw milk cheeses and safety parameters. She is a reseacher for Agroscope, an institution which has been providing cheese cultures for over 100 years in Switzerland. According to Dr. Petra, bacteria are responsible for the taste, smell, texture and even the cheese holes. Minas Gerais, also stands out for its traditional dairy products, but lacks innovations in the sector. On the first day of AgriTech Experiences, discussions pointed to the need of improvement of dairy brands in the market place, as this is becoming as important as the quality of the products themselves.
On the second day, another Agroscope researcher, Dr. Thainná Waldburger addressed the subject of pest control in Swiss agriculture. Dr. Thainná pointed out in her talk that next year Switzerland will vote on the total ban of pesticides in the country. “The pressure to pass the pesticide ban on Swiss agriculture is very high. Given this scenario, biological pest control will be increasingly required. I will be meeting in the coming weeks with some potential partners and researchers”, explained Thainná.
Following the success of the first edition of AgriTech Experiences, organizers already plan to repeat the event next year. According to Pedro Capra, Project and Academic Relations Manager at swissnex Brazil, the idea is to use the most discussed aspects during the 2019 edition as a starting point for the upcoming event in 2020.
Dr. Petra Lüdin and Thainná Waldburger. Photos: Bruno Menezes.