Climate Adaptation

Planting Innovation: Brazilian Agriculture in the Twenty-First Century

Wednesday, February 21, 2018
2:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Reception to Follow

Elliott School of International Affairs
The George Washington University
1957 E St NW
Washington, D.C. 20052

The Brazil Initiative at the Elliott School of International Affairs and Embrapa, Brazil’s distinguished agricultural research and extension federal government agency, have partnered to organize the symposium, Planting Innovation: Brazilian Agriculture in the 21st CenturyAbrapa, the Brazilian Cotton Producers Association, and the Institute for International Economic Policy are co-sponsoring this special event.

The co-chairs of this symposium are Mark S. Langevin, Ph.D., Director of the Brazil Initiative and Research Professor at the Elliott School of International Affairs, and Geraldo B. Martha Jr., Ph.D., Coordinator of Labex-Embrapa/USDA-ARS Cooperation Program.

The symposium explores modern Brazilian agriculture, its contributions to national development, and the critical innovations that drive this sector’s modernization, productivity increases, and environmental sustainability. Mark Langevin summarizes this sector’s recent development:

Brazilian agriculture modernization delivers food security, achieves remarkable increases in productivity, and integrates elements of the national economy through vertical industrialization and global commodity chains. More than any other sector, Brazilian agriculture provides a backstop to national development in good times and bad.

According to Geraldo Martha Jr.:

A key feature behind Brazilian agriculture’s achievements, current vigor, and exciting future prospects is the strong emphasis on science-based solutions to cope with challenges and to expand opportunities in associated value-chains.

Planting Innovation: Brazilian Agriculture in the 21st Century brings together scientists, organizational leaders, and policymakers to discuss the drivers of agricultural innovation in Brazil and their impact on agricultural and national development in the twenty-first century. This discussion also examines Brazilian agriculture’s role in the world by evaluating the challenges and opportunities related to Brazil’s integration within global value chains and associated markets.

Tentative Agenda

2:00 PM Welcoming Remarks

  • Mark S. Langevin, Ph.D., Director of the Brazil Initiative
2:15 PM Convocation
  • Brazilian Ambassador to the U.S., The Honorable Sérgio Silva do Amaral
2:30 PM Brazilian Agriculture and the World
  • Juergen Voegele, Ph.D., Director of Agriculture, The World Bank Group
2:45 PM Innovation, Biotechnology and Brazilian Agriculture
  • Gerlado Martha Jr., Ph.D., Coordinator, Embrapa Labex-USA
  • Discussants:
    • Sandra Milach, Research Director at Dupont-Pioneer
    • Dan Jenkins, Senior Director for Food & Agriculture at BIO

4:15 PM Coffee Break

4:30 PM Science to Practice: Experiences from the Field

  • Haroldo Cunha, President of the Brazilian Cotton Institute (IBA)
  • Discussant:
    • Eugenio Diaz-Bonilla, Ph.D., Head of Latin America and the Caribbean, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
5:30 PM Future Challenges and Opportunities
  • Shenggen Fan, Ph.D., Director General, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
5:50 PM Final Remarks
  • Mark S. Langevin, Ph.D. and Geraldo B. Martha Jr., Ph.D.
6:00 PM Reception


The Institute for International Economic Policy (IIEP), which is located within the Elliott School of International Affairs, serves as a catalyst for high quality, multi-disciplinary, and non-partisan research on policy issues surrounding economic globalization. The Institute research program helps develop effective policy options and academic analysis in a time of growing controversies about international economic integration in many countries around the world. The institute's work also encompasses policy responses for those who face continued poverty and financial crises despite worldwide economic growth. Affiliated faculty have appointments in the departments of economics, history, and political science as well as the law and business schools.

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