Biological control gains strength in Brazil
Jul. 28, 2020
The latest survey of Brazil’s biodefensives market points to a growth of more than 70% in 2018, moving R$464.5 million (US$90 million) against R$262.4 million (US$51 million) in 2017, according to a researcher at the Biological Institute, José Eduardo Marcondes de Almeida.
This result is considered the most expressive in the history of the sector and exceeds the percentage reached by the international market.
According to the Brazilian Association of Biological Control Companies (ABCBio-CropLife), the use of agricultural biodefensives as a strategy for biological control of pests and diseases has an annual growth potential of 20%.
Located at Fazenda Mato Dentro, in Campinas, the Laboratory of Reference in Biological Control of the Instituto Biológico (IB) of the State of São Paulo has completed 50 years, in full expansion. The system - which uses sustainable technology that allows the use of natural enemies to control agricultural pests - has been experiencing dizzying growth in recent years.
The Instituto Biológico is acknowledged in Brazil and abroad for its scientific research with biological control and serves, through Probio, more than 80 bio-factories of bio-inputs. “We operate in the transfer of technology and knowledge to biological control companies across the country,” de Almeida said.
“Probio gathers the technologies and services provided at the Institute, mainly for the cultivation of sugar cane, soy, bananas, rubber, flowers, strawberries, beans and vegetables,” he added.
Last year, the IB signed 23 contracts for the transfer of technology and knowledge in biological control with companies located in São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Mato Grosso and Paraná, according to Almeida.
Utilizing the fungus selected by the Institute, it is now possible, for example, to control the root leafhopper, an important pest in the cultivation of sugarcane, with the use of biodefensives. Approximately 1.5 million hectares of sugarcane in Brazil already use this IB technology, generating estimated savings of R$21 million (US$4 million) per year.
The Institute also isolated a fungus called “Beauveria bassiana” for the control of whitefly on soybeans, used today on three million hectares planted with the crop throughout Brazil. The volume of business with the use of this fungus reaches R$30 million (US$6 million) per year.
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