Ten Hot Questions Discussed with Leading Associations in Brazil
Oct. 7, 2013
Editor’s note: In the year of 2012, the Brazilian agrochemical market increased 14.4%, reaching new record of US$ 9.71 billion. Overall the segment sold 823,220 tons of chemicals to control pests and weeds, 12.6% more than the year before. Brazil maintains its position as the second largest pesticide market in the world. Harmful pest Helicoverpa armigera in soybean and cotton was identified for the first time during 2012-13 planting season, which caused a big challenge for the harvest of crops. Therefore, the government released as an emergency matter the import of pesticides based emamectin benzoate to fight this new species.
Agropages got in touch with two leading associations in Brazil: Sindicato Nacional da Indústria de Produtos para Defesa Agrícola (the Sindag) and Biotechnology Information Council (the CIB) to discuss some current hot topics for a comprehensive understanding of this complex and vibrant market.
1. How do you think about the current status of Brazilian agriculture?
Brazil is currently regarded as the granary of the world. According to the FAO, the world must increase food production by 20% by 2050 to meet a world population of 9.3 billion people. Brazil represents 40% of this increase. Moreover, the country can have up to three harvests a year due to the tropical climate which provides a rich and active environment for agricultural production.
2. What are the main factors that drive the growth in agrochemical sector in 2012?
I think the most important factor was the price of commodities, especially export-oriented crops, such as soybeans, cotton and sugarcane. To illustrate, only soybeans accounted for 47% of sales of agrochemicals sector.
3. Brazil government allowed an emergency use of emamectin benzoate for Helicoverpa aramigera attacking in May, but the product still failed the approval of the government. Is there any alternatives product available now to fight again the disease? What products are registered in Brazil for the Helicoverpa aramigera controlling?
Innovation and adoption of new technologies are essential factors for the increase of competitiveness of domestic agriculture in domestic and foreign markets. Therefore, it is essential to research and development of new molecules able to control certain pests and diseases that threaten our tropical agriculture, in order to ensure the supply of food quality and quantity. However, although Brazil is on the list of most important countries in the world in terms of agribusiness, the Federal Government has not given due attention to the sector with regard to the registration of new pesticides, activity that contributes significantly to increased productivity in the field.
4. What do you think about the pesticide registration regulations in Brazil?
Brazil is one of the most regulated markets of pesticides all over the world. But the current regulatory framework is still not proportional to the need of farmers to enjoying greater choice of solutions to manage pests and diseases. And this lack of structure in all respects, including personnel leads to an increase in the analysis time of the products, causing competitive disadvantage Brazilian farmers.
5. Do you think there might be some changes of this situation in the near future?
Yes, we believe that the Brazilian authorities to raise awareness of the precarious legal situation in our country. Considering that agribusiness is guaranteeing the trade surplus of the Brazilian trade balance for over 13 years, we have good reasons to have a positive outlook on structural changes in public policies that promote the sustainable development of Brazilian agriculture.
6. With more concerns for food security, climate change, environmental protection of the industry, what’s your anticipation that if pattern of plant cultivation, pesticide application may be changed in the future and how will they affect the agrochemical market?
In line with the population explosion, consumption of food, more concerns for food security, agribusiness will continue to has a very important role in providing food for the world. With the trend toward more frequent and extreme weather events, there will be more challenge for farmers, governments and pesticide players. To guarantee crop harvest, farmers may increase agri-input and adopt more advanced technologies. These will require more hard work of crop protection companies. They bear the responsibilities to provide more sufficient, efficient and environment- friendly products to satisfy market demands.
7. What’s the situation of GM planting in Brazil?
According to the latest global report conducted by the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA in 2012), the fourth consecutive year, the Brazilian agriculture was the one that drove the growth of the global area planted with GM varieties, with an increase of 21% compared to 2011, reaching a record of 36.6 million hectares, an increase of over 6.3 million. No other country has achieved such an expansion, which contributes to performance that Brazil is recognized as a global leader in the adoption of biotechnology.
Updated data collected by consulting company Céleres for 2013-14 crop estimate that transgenic soybean crops should cover 26.9 million hectares, equivalent to 92.4% of the estimated area planted to the crop in Brazil. The adoption of GM corn should also grow. It is estimated that the total area occupied by the crop is 12.9 million acres. This means considering the winter and summer seasons, an adoption fee of 81.4%. Compared to 2008-09, the first year in which biotechnology was adopted for maize, the increase was 11.7 million acres. Also according to Céleres, the GM cotton should record growth of 4.8% in the planted area in 2013-14.
8. What’s the attitude of the government?
In Brazil, approved GMOs are subjected to toxicological testing, allergens, nutritional and environmental analysis by passing the National Technical Commission on Biosafety (CTNBio), collegiate body under the Ministry of Science , Technology and Innovation (MCTI). Since 2005, the Law on Biosafety (11.105/05) clearly establishes that it is CTNBio technical analysis of the biosafety of GMOs under the aspect of human health, plant and environment.The other regulatory agencies, such as the Ministry of Agriculture , Livestock and Supply (MAPA), Ministry of Agrarian Development (MDA) and National Agency for Sanitary Surveillance (ANVISA), has representatives on the committee whose decisions are taken in a democratic and transparent since the meetings are public and published its minutes for the whole society. The regulatory process in Brazil is internationally recognized as one of the strictest and most complete in the world.
9. How do you think about the future of GM crop in the world?
The survey also indicates ISAAA’s record world production of 170.3 million hectares in 2012, representing a growth rate of 6% , or 10.3 million hectares more than 160 million registered in 2011. Compared with 1996, total planted in 2012 represents a magnification of 100 times the acreage. This makes the transgenic fastest adopted crop technology in the history of modern agriculture because of their economic, social and agronomic. Thus, I think GMO market will experience decent growth in the future.
10. Could you give some suggestion to a new company which would like to enter into the Brazilian market?
• Structure technological package of products and/or services that positively impact the value chain in order to achieve market differentiation
• Plan strategic partnerships that allow the new player to have significant presence and coverage in the Brazilian
• Study the market and its needs
• Understand current legislation in its area of operation in the country
• Analyze cases of success and failure in the country
• Assess the current reality and future value chain
More from AgroNews
Subscribe to daily email alerts of AgroNews.