* BNDES to increase financing to 2 bln reais by 2015
* Flourishing farm sector reliant on fertilizer imports
SAO PAULO, April 3 Brazil's national development
bank BNDES said on Wednesday it expects a jump in spending on
fertilizer projects in coming years as one of the world's top
farming nations tries to reduce its reliance on imports.
BNDES plans to increase financing for potassium,
phosphate and nitrogen projects to 2 billion reais ($989
million) by 2015, a manager of the bank told Reuters in an
interview. In the past three years, just 250 million reais in
financing was available.
"BNDES can help the government stimulate this sector," said
Vinícius Samu, the bank's manager of the department of chemical
industry. He said a wave of private investment in the sector was
Brazil is the world's No. 4 fertilizer consumer, behind the
United States, India and China, but it imports 60 percent of
what it uses. Demand has risen steeply as Brazil's soy, corn,
sugarcane and coffee sectors flourish.
International firms have taken note and are ramping up
investment in ventures to mine fertilizer materials.
Toronto-listed start-up Verde Potash Plc plans to start
mining potassium at its flagship project in southeastern Brazil
Brazilian miner Vale will likely develop potash
mines in Brazil and Canada that it had put on hold in order to
make up for the suspension of its $6 billion Rio Colorado
project in Argentina.
Brazil is the world's No. 1 coffee, sugar and orange juice
producer and could soon become the top soybean producer.