By Mohammad Ghazal

AMMAN – Jordan and Brazil will soon start sharing expertise and technologies to improve water management in semi-arid areas, according to a Brazilian official.

Brazilian and Jordanian scientists, researchers and entrepreneurs will compile a study to identify challenges and solutions to addressing the water situation in semi-arid lands, according to Jose Monserrat Fiho, head of the board for international affairs at the Brazilian ministry of science and technology.

“There are many similarities between Jordan and Brazil in this regard,” said Fiho, who headed a technical mission of Brazilian experts and scientists that visited the Kingdom last week.

During its tour, the Brazilian delegates met with experts and officials to explore areas of cooperation in the energy, agriculture, environment, nanotechnology and biotechnology fields.

Sanderson Alberto Medeiros Leit‹o of the Brazilian ministry of science and technology and delegation member stressed that the discussions were fruitful.

“We have lots of similarities. We both have semi-arid regions and are trying to develop new water efficiency technologies to improve irrigation methods,” Leit‹o told The Jordan Times.

According to Fiho, the meeting was in line with closer relations between the two countries.

“The meeting was the first between a Brazilian technical delegation and Jordanian peers following the signing of a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in science and technology during His Majesty King Abdullah’s visit to Brazil,” Fiho said in an interview with The Jordan Times last week.

In October 2008, King Abdullah paid a visit to Brazil, where he discussed means to activate cooperation, particularly in the economic field, with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

During the visit, the two countries signed 11 agreements and memoranda of understanding that covered cooperation in the fields of economy, tourism, education, culture, science and technology.

To enhance cooperation in the field of agriculture, Fiho said an agreement will be signed between Embrapa, the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation, and the National Centre for Agricultural Research and Extension by the end of the year.

To explore cooperation in the ICT sector, a technical mission from the Brazilian ICT sector will visit the Kingdom in March 2011, he added.

“We have good experience in this field and we can help Jordan in this regard,” Fiho said.