Brazil has increased its engagement across Africa, and with an alternative approach to international aid is contributing to the changing landscape of development cooperation. Embrapa, its national agricultural research institute, is the protagonist of such support, focusing on food security and rural development. Brazil also participates in triangular cooperation schemes in African countries, with the Agricultural Innovation MarketPlace considered as particularly successful, due to its peer-to-peer dimension and low administrative burden of participation.
Despite discussions by the European Commission and member states on triangular cooperation, there are major perceived obstacles for EU engagement, e.g. lack of information and some skepticism about ‘new donors’ initiatives. On the other hand, the EU is increasing its support to agricultural research for development, emphasizing the importance of locally-owned research that can be scaled up and more directly beneficial for smallholder farmers (uptake of research results). If the EU would engage with the MKTPlace, it would be a pragmatic case of cooperation with Brazil in agricultural research, useful to promote mutual trust. This could also increase MKTPlace impact and effectiveness, and potentially lead to broader EU participation in innovative triangular partnerships.