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Bamboo, strong and flexible cooperation between China and Brazil

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A Chinese Academy of Forestry (CAF) delegation, headed by its vice-chairman Huan Jin, is in Brasília to discuss with Embrapa Resources and Biotechnology  ways to increase the exchange of genetic material of bamboo between the two countries and sending varieties of bamboo from China to Brazil.

Embrapa’s Jose Manuel Cabral, who received the delegation along with other researchers, said it will consider Technical Cooperation Projects models to strengthen the partnership between the two countries:”More than exchange of genetic material, joint work with China will involve research on the adaptation of Chinese species to Brazilian conditions, genetic characterization, conservation and also multiplication from in vitro propagation techniques”, he said.

China is  the world’s largest producer of bamboo and the country with the highest financial return from this plant. Besides being widely used in civil construction, handling around US $ 30 billion, which represents half of the world market, there are more than 450 patented bamboo-related products and technologies in the country today and more than two thousand researches in progress, covering several segments, such as food, art, architecture, papermaking and clothing, in which its natural fiber is used in the manufacture of high quality artificial silk.

In 2011, the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communications (MCTIC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (MOST) to strengthen the bamboo production chain in Brazil.

One of the focus of this partnership is to enable the training of Brazilian professionals in China. This was the case of the civil engineer Vitor Marçal, the Brazilian Association of Bamboo Producers (APROBAMBU) and the researcher of Embrapa Genetic Resources and Biotechnology Jonny Pereira, among many other researchers and professionals who work in the various segments that make up the bamboo productive chain in the Brazil.

Brazil has the largest bamboo biodiversity in the Americas and one of the largest in the world, with about four million hectares of forests in the Amazon alone and more than 230 native species in Brazil in practically all regions. In 2013, Embrapa reinforced the development of research with bamboo, based on a research project developed in partnership between two research units – Embrapa Acre (Rio Branco, AC) and Embrapa Genetic Resources and Biotechnology (Brasília, besides the University of Brasília (UnB) and the Federal University of Acre (UFAC).