Minoru Takahashi, CEO of Toyobo do Brasil, visited Embrapa Algodão last month.
The Brazilian agricultural research company (Embrapa) starts cooperation with Toyobo do Brasil for the production of biological insecticide against the cotton boll weevil (Anthonomus grandis).
According to researcher in the field of agricultural entomology, Carlos Alberto Domingues da Silva, the partnership is interesting because it should synthesize and make available to cotton producers an efficient biological insecticide against important pests of the crop. "Especially since it is a biological product, friendly from an environmental point of view, and because there is an avid demand of Brazilian cotton farmers for a biological insecticide, capable of replacing conventional chemical pesticides, "he says.
He comments that one of the main factors responsible for raising cotton production costs is the use of synthetic chemical insecticides, which may favor the emergence of insect populations resistant to these products. Domingues already has promising results in her research with entomopathogenic fungi, particularly Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae, which control two cotton pests, boll weevil and leafworm.
Minoru Takahashi, CEO of Toyobo do Brasil, said that cotton has been part of Toyobo's history for more than 130 years. He says that the partnership with Embrapa can lead to new and less aggressive solutions to the environment. "Microbial pesticides can become, in the medium term, a low-cost, long-lasting solution," he says.
He pointed out that the state-owned company of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply has already accumulated a lot of knowledge in this area and can help a lot in the development of new products and in the solution of problems that may possibly hamper the objectives we seek. "The next step will be to register these products, then make them available to farmers and effectively bring the solution to the field," adds the executive.
According to Guilherme Micai de Oliveira, responsible for the research and development of Toyobo do Brasil, the microbiological products for the cotton crop can benefit medium and small producers, including in the Northeast.
"When you have more efficient products, such as entomopathogenic fungi, it facilitates sustainable pest management. This helps to preserve the natural enemies because they are highly selective products. Another advantage is that they are not toxic to the producer or to the final product itself, so it can be a huge help to the cotton farmer, "he says.
The partners estimate that this technology may be available to cotton growers within three to four years.