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March 18, 2013

Brazilian President Names New Minister of Agriculture

The Brazilian Resident, Dilma Rousseff, announced three new ministers over the weekend including a new Minister of Agriculture. The new minister is Antonio Andrade, a senator from Patos de Minas in the state of Minas Gerais. He is replacing Mendes Ribeiro who has suffered health problems over the last several months. The 58 year old Ribeiro assumed his post in 2011, but in October of that year, he underwent surgery to remove a recurring brain tumor. He has since been in and out of the hospital several times during his chemotherapy treatments preventing him from conducting the long trips necessary to carry out his mission as Minister of Agriculture.

The new minister has a long history of involvement in Brazilian agriculture. He is a civil engineer and his past positions include president of rural societies, president of regional and state municipalities, and the milk producers association. In the Brazilian Congress he has been a member of the Agricultural Committee, the Mines and Energy Committee, the Finance Committee, the Justice Committee, the Economic Development Committee, and the Special Commission on Agroindustry and Rural Production.

Mr. Andrade is the second highest ranking member of the PMDB Party in Congress, which is Brazil's largest political party and part of President Rousseff's ruling coalition. Rousseff is expected to run for a second term in 2014 and she has repeatedly replaced ministers of ex-president Lula with ministers from her coalition allies.