By: Pery Negreiros

23/10/2020, 10:28

(ATUALIZADO: 26/10/2020, 14:24)

Apodi branch: agribusiness and industry leaders analyze the importance of the work

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Launching of the bidding for the equipment had a positive impact on the production sector in Ceará, but the absence of a stretch in a package requires strong performance behind the scenes

The opening of the bidding process for the Apodi Branch, another stage of the transposition of the São Francisco River that will pass through Ceará, was announced last October 16, in an event attended by a minister, dozens of parliamentarians, businessmen and leaders representative entities of the productive sector, among others, at the Federation of State Industries (Fiec). A R $ 1,7 billion project that will include three Brazilian states that are part of the semiarid region and should benefit around 750 thousand people.

Water infrastructure stimulates business environment in Ceará 

In all, 48 cities will be included. In Ceará alone, nine are listed: Aurora, Baixio, Cedro, Farias Brito, Granjeiro, Ipaumirim, Lavras da Mangabeira, Umari and Várzea Alegre, with its approximately 170 thousand inhabitants, who will be able to count on a more efficient supply of water for consumption and irrigation from 2026, the initial date foreseen for the conclusion of the works. 

“This work will benefit these states, with the water going through the (Extension of) Apodi and then going down to Fortaleza by gravity. It is spectacular, in addition to being a R $ 1,7 billion enterprise at a time when the economy is at a standstill. For that reason alone it is a wonderful thing ”, exclaims the president of Fiec, Ricardo Cavalcante.

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The billion-dollar venture, which brings with it the promise of “Increased water security for irrigation already developed and the expansion of irrigated agriculture” in the Chapada do Apodi regionaccording to Ministry of Regional Development (MDR), immediately shines, in particular, the eyes of entrepreneurs with businesses in the Apodi region, as seen by Flávio Saboya, president of Federation of Agriculture and Livestock of the State of Ceará (Faec):

“This is a matter of the highest importance for the development of the State. We are largely in the semiarid region, with activities developed always depending on the rains. The arrival of these waters, for sure, will be of paramount importance for the development of fruit production in the Apodi region, especially melons ”, confirms the leader.

Another activity that will benefit, according to Saboya, is the production of silage, whose commercialization is beginning to gain strength, especially in municipalities such as Quixeramobim and Quixadá, which produce milk, but depend on silage that is being produced precisely in Apodi. “With this guarantee of water availability, for sure, we will naturally have a livestock stock, with milk production being the main livestock activity in Ceará”, he predicts.

'Atomic bomb'

For Ricardo Cavalcante, in addition to fruit growing, which already has strong added value, the civil construction sector has much to celebrate with the news

“By itself, a project like this already creates thousands of jobs. Many others around it, for suppliers, with cement, steel, etc. For our moment, a small acceleration in the economy is already spectacular. This shows that we will have a 2021 with more regularity. Where water passes comes wealth and we are betting on it, that we can be a different state in this area ”, he argues. 

The Fiec leader continues, remembering that the vital element is a factor that soon has everything to stop symbolizing our greatest scarcity, especially in a scenario of high investments in technological innovation. “In agribusiness, we are not to be desired at all in relation to anyone, we have entrepreneurs who would put on a show anywhere in the world. And what will be done will depend on market demand. But we already have the most difficult: we have Ceará, we have the land and now we will have the water. Closing these three, for sure (the demand) appears ”, he concludes.

Amilcar Silveira, president of the Agribusiness Sectorial Chamber of Ceará State Development Agency (Adece), follows Cavalcante's line of reasoning. “We have a great ally, which is the sun, our atomic bomb. Look at what happened to wheat, which managed to decrease its vegetative cycle by more than 50 days here compared to the South. But we need a lot of water, so that our plants can grow, our crops grow and our exports increase ”, comments. 

Saying himself euphoric with the moment lived by agribusiness, Silveira exalts the 700 thousand hectares, a number presented by Minister Rogério Marinho, on the occasion of the Fiec event, as likely to be irrigated from the new branch of the North Axis, which should be over 115 km long. “Just to give you an idea, if we can irrigate 80 thousand hectares, we can get the same revenue from a new steelmaker like this or a refinery here in Ceará. So, the power is extraordinary, and the sector is celebrating ”, explains the president of the sectorial chamber. 

Long wait

The event of the last 16th also included, in the bidding package, the construction of the Salgado Branch, in reference to the homonymous river that is located near the municipality of Icó (CE). The equipment would transport the waters of the North Axis of the São Francisco River Integration Project (Pisf), although with a lower flow rate than that of Apodi (20m³ / s against 40m³ / s), definitely within the limits of the State. The stage, however, will be for later, which caused some dissatisfaction of the leaders heard. 

The bidding notice for the receipt of proposals for the execution of the work was published in the Official Gazette (DOU) on the last 20th, referring only to the Apodi Branch. “The (Federal) Government has already promised that it would do it in a second moment, but it would be too important, because then, in fact, Ceará will be better benefited”, says Silveira.

From the Jati dam, inaugurated in June this year, the waters of Pisf follow, through the Ceará Water Belt (CAC), to Riacho Seco, flow into the Rio Salgado and Rio Jaguaribe, in sequence, until heading for the Açude Casthões, today essential for supplying the Metropolitan Region of Fortaleza.

Flávio Saboya, in turn, even last July, had been one of the signatories of an official letter sent to the President of the Republic, Jair Bolsonaro, asking for the conclusion of the two branches. The document that brought together as sending presidents of federations of industry and agriculture in Ceará, Rio Grande do Norte and Paraíba explained why interventions were so important for the development of the three states.

For TrendsCE, the manager updates the situation regarding the talks: “We had a meeting, last week, with the minister (Rogério Marinho), in which we again presented a proposal on agro-industries. It turns out that they depend essentially on the Federal Government, because the resources that would be available in their financing, the counterparts, are not being covered by the Government, being lacking in this complement for their activities. They are essential for these industries, such as, for example, the one that produces rennet cheese ”, he informs.   

On the other hand, Ricardo Cavalcante extols what he calls “Legacy” of federal management, in terms of infrastructure. “The minister is doing something very important, which is to finish the works that were stopped. This is a great legacy. Finish what was already there. If they were there, it must have been a good project. Why not pick them up and finish them off? The worst thing in the world is to leave one thing in the way and start another. So, this is something very important ”, he ponders.

Content translation is performed automatically by Gtranslate / Content translation is performed automatically by Gtranslate

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