October 5, 2017
On September 20, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a Record of Discussions with the Government of the Republic of Paraguay in Asunción, the capital city, for the Project for Improving Safety of Agricultural Exports for Small-Scale Farmers, a technical cooperation project.
The project will promote the appropriate quality management of crops by small-scale farmers in the Asunción Capital District and a target department, and improve the pre-export inspection system for crops, contributing to a larger quantity of export crops that meet safety standards.
In Paraguay, the profitable cultivation of sesame began to spread widely as a cash crop of small-scale farmers in the 1990s, becoming an important source of revenue. Paraguayan sesame is highly desired on the Japanese market for its fine quality, and the export volume to Japan rose rapidly in the 2000s, and Paraguay became the largest exporter of sesame to Japan in 2008. However, there was a series of incidents in 2013 in which residual agricultural chemicals were found to exceed Japanese standards known as the Maximum Residue Limits during the import inspection, resulting in the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare issuing an order subjecting Paraguayan sesame to inspection. At the same time, there was a drop in the productivity and quality of escoba sesame, a high-quality variety of Paraguayan sesame, caused by soil disease and other issues, and additional competition also emerged in the international sesame market particularly from African countries, reducing the competitiveness of Paraguayan sesame.
By improving the quality control system of the entire value chain from production to distribution and export, the project is expected to increase the quantity of crops being produced for export, including sesame, that meet safety standards, and to contribute to improvements in the livelihoods of small-scale farmers. In addition to this project, JICA has dispatched an advisor for 2016 and 2017 to Paraguay to assist in reducing the residual agricultural chemicals in the crops of small-scale farmers, and is enhancing the traceability of agricultural chemicals and the sampling system, contributing to improved safety in export crops from Paraguay and strengthened market competitiveness.
|Country||Republic of Paraguay|
|Project title||Project for Improving Safety of Agricultural Exports for Small-Scale Farmers|
|Planned implementation period||December 2017 to December 2022|
|Executing agency||National Service for Plants and Seeds Quality and Health
|Target region, facilities||Asunción Capital District, and one department selected from Amambay, Concepción, Itapúa, Misiones and San Pedro Departments|
|Specific project details (provisional)||The promotion of proper quality crop management by small scale farmers, the improvement of the pre-export crop inspection system, and the improvement of the quality control system for the entire value chain of export crops from production to distribution and export.|