NURII – IRRIGATION UNITES EMBRAPA AND ANA
One of the greatest challenges facing humanity in this century is guaranteeing food and environmental security to a global population that in 2030 will be approximately 8.3 billion people. To get an idea of the size of the problem, it is believed that, in Brazil alone, there are roughly 50 million individuals that have difficulty maintaining a basic diet. And food security cannot be disassociated from water security. A recent report from
the FAO predicts that food production will need to increase by approximately 60% in order to meet the new nutritional demands of the world. In this context, irrigated agriculture will play a fundamental role, because each irrigated hectare can produce up to five times more food than a non-irrigated hectare.
Brazil has roughly 12% of the available water resources on the planet and a potential irrigable area of 30 million hectares. Of these, only a little over three million hectares are irrigated, which are responsible for 35% of Brazilian agricultural production. It is known that of the total water utilized in Brazil, about 70% is for irrigation.
In this context, EMBRAPA (Brazilian Enterprise for Agriculture Research) and ANA – National Water Agency (with support from Institutions such as UNESCO HidroEX and the State Environment Secretary) – are working together towards the creation, in the UNESCO CITY OF WATERS, of NURII – Water Resources and Irrigation Innovation and Reference Center. NURII will work with training, research and innovation, providing producers with orientation regarding the utilization of water for irrigation and offering alternatives for a more rational and productive use of the soil and water resources.
In the CITY OF WATERS, the NURII will preside in a modern building (which has already been designed) occupying an area of 40 hectares, as well as an experimental field of 34 hectares in a location ceded by the Government of Minas Gerais on the banks of Grande River.
ANA: BRAZILIAN WATER MANAGEMENT
The National Water Agency (ANA) is an independent federal entity, linked with the Ministry of the Environment, responsible for the implementation of Brazilian Water Resource management.
Its mission is to regulate the use of water from rivers and lakes under the domain of the Union and to implement the National Water Resource Management System, guaranteeing its sustainable use, avoiding pollution and wastage, and ensuring water of good quality and in sufficient quantity for current and future generations. It is the responsibility of ANA to create the technical conditions for the implementation of
the Water Law, promote decentralized and participative management, in harmony with the bodies and entities that comprise the National Water Resource Management System, implant the legal management instruments, among them, the preventive concessions and water resource usage concessions, charge for the use of water and to inspect these uses. Also among the attributions of the ANA is the task of seeking adequate solutions for two serious problems in the country: prolonged droughts (especially in the Northeast region) and pollution of the rivers.
EMBRAPA RESPONSIBLE FOR MODERN BRAZILIAN AGRICULTURE
The Brazilian Enterprise for Agriculture Research (EMBRAPA) is a Brazilian public institution linked to the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply, created in 1973, with the objective of producing innovation and scientific knowledge and developing agriculture and livestock production techniques. It operates through a system of 38 Research Centers, three service centers and eleven central units and has a presence in almost all
States in the Federation with 8,619 employees, of which 2,221 are researchers and a budget of over 1 billion reais annually.
In terms of international cooperation, the Enterprise has 68 bilateral technical cooperation agreements with 37 countries and 64 institutions, as well as multilateral agreements with 20 international organizations, mainly involving research through partnerships. It also maintains laboratories for conducting research into the newest technologies in the United States, France and Holland, in addition to an office in Ghana for the sharing of scientific and technological knowledge with the African continent.