Last Friday (13 Sept 2019), the Chancellor of the University of the State of Amazonas (UEA) Dr. Cleinaldo de Almeida Costa and the JKI-President Prof. Dr. Frank Ordon signed a declaration to mark the two parties’ commitment to cooperation. The signing of this Joint Declaration of Intent between the university based in Manaus in Brazil and the German Federal Research Centre for Cultivated Plants was preceded in May 2019 by a promising German-Brazilian workshop on medicinal plants. The Declaration is now a sound basis for setting in motion further collaborative steps.
Since Dr. Costa, together with other rectors of Brazilian universities, is visiting various German university towns as part of a DAAD*-led tour, the paper was signed in the town of Potsdam. The agreement receives strong support by the Governor of the State of Amazonas. The contents of the planned cooperation will initially concentrate on the field of medicinal and aromatic plants, and will then be extended to other areas of the bioeconomy where appropriate. Through their cooperation, the contracting parties JKI and UEA aim to strengthen collaboration between Germany and Brazil in the agricultural sector as a whole. With its expertise in the field of medicinal and aromatic plants, the JKI seeks to contribute to the sustainable use of high-quality medicinal and aromatic plants in the Amazon region. The Brazilian side wishes to support their small farmers, for example, by developing strategies for the thoughtful exploitation of wild-growing native species, by choosing some of them for farm cultivation in order to avoid overexploitation of natural habitats and by establishing methods of post-harvest processing. The overall goal is to enable local farmer to market high-quality plants and plant products themselves.
Two JKI institutes are particularly involved: the Institute for Breeding Research on Horticultural Crops and the Institute for Ecological Chemistry, Plant Analysis and Stored Product Protection. The agenda of cooperation includes:
- to identify the potential of distinct species for use as medicinal or aromatic plants
- to determine the ingredients that make up a desirable medicinal or aromatic plant
- to use and produce medicinal and aromatic plants sustainably
*DAAD is the German Academic Exchange Service (German: Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst)