After completing four years of research in south Georgia, a Brazilian fertilizer company is setting up a crop-nutrition plant in the region that will employ 80 people.
The $1 million plant in Moultrie is the latest step in Forquímica‘s major ambitions for the U.S. market.
“We want to be bigger than we are in Brazil,” Reginaldo Zandonade, manager of Forquímica’s local operation, said at last year’s Sun Belt Ag Expo, also held in Moultrie.
That would be significant, as the company employs 500 people and since 1985 has grown into a major South American player from its base in Cambira, a city in the southern state of Paraná.
In a YouTube video of company’s Sun Belt Field Day presentation to potential buyers, Mr. Zandonade said Forquimica was basically working without pay in Georgia because it knows it needs to gain the trust of growers before it begins selling — especially as a foreign company.
The Georgia project was par for the course for a company that prides itself on working collaboratively with farmers and sharing knowledge with educational institutions.
It included 20 different trial sites focused on peanuts, corn, soybeans and cotton to ensure the company could knowledgeably advise customers on the best times and amounts for its foliar fertilizers (liquid sprayed on the leaves) and adjuvants (additives that boost the effectiveness of pesticides).
“There are so many chances you take when you grow, and you don’t want to take a chance with this,” Mr. Zandonade said in the video.
According to a release from Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal’s office, the new jobs in Moutrie are to include positions in general services, management, marketing and sales.
A powerhouse in agriculture, Brazilian firms in agribusiness and beyond are waking up to the opportunities presented by rural areas in Georgia. JBS, a poultry producer, operates Pilgrim’s Pride plants around the state, while pistol manufacturer Taurus is building a factory in Bainbridge. Brazilian investors have reportedly been eyeing industrial investments in coastal Georgia as well.
The commercial section at the Brazilian Consulate General in Atlanta has been instrumental in helping many companies come here to display their wares at industry shows like the production and processing expo (the poultry show) coming up later this month.