Fighting pests, diseases of beans required over R$1.2 billion in investments in Brazil, reveals Spark
Mar. 24, 2021
By Leonardo Gottems, reporter for AgroPages
The fight against pests and diseases that attack beans demanded investments of more than R$ 1.2 billion in these technologies revealed a survey conducted by Sindiveg (National Union of Plant Protection Products Industry) in partnership with Spark Consultoria Strategica.
According to the study, the treated area was equivalent to more than 33.2 million hectares in 2020. The calculation of the treated area considered, in multiplication, the number of products and applications, as well as the cultivated area.
“Beans are essential in the lives of Brazilians. However, like all other crops, beans also face challenges to reach our table. Various productivity detractors, such as pests and diseases, attack the country's bean crops, harming production. You can't imagine our meal without beans,” says Julio Borges, president of Sindiveg.
“The challenge is great. Without proper care, pests and diseases cause immense damage to producers and, consequently, to the regular supply of beans. Some of the main problems, such as the whitefly and the anthracnose disease, have the potential to destroy up to 100 percent of the plantations, creating food shortages on the shelves,” the official warned.
According to him, crop protection and care must be intense and frequent. “It is important to emphasize that, in addition to the high cost, the lack of beans in the country – which is one of the five largest producers of the grain in the world – would require acquisition in the foreign market to supply the population. In a high dollar scenario, the impact on food prices would be even greater,” Borges stressed.
Other diverse villains have the potential to decimate areas of bean cultivation, such as the angular spot, a fungal disease that reduces the harvest by 80%; and white mold or the caterpillar-elasmo, whose damage may require the complete replanting of the crop. No less serious, weeds such as Amaranthus spp, Bidens alba, Commelina Benghalensis and some species of grass create a competition for nutrients and sunlight that impairs the potential of the bean and also hinders the process of harvesting the pods.
“To protect production, it is necessary to control these problems. Science offers the most advanced technology in adequate soil preparation, seed selection, and agricultural pesticides. Used correctly and safely, these technologies protect the bean plant without harming the quantity and quality of the grain produced, or causing damage to the environment or human health, ensuring its productive potential,” stated Eliane Kay, executive director of Sindiveg.
Kay explained that, before being launched, all solutions to combat pests and diseases in agriculture are scientifically tested and subjected to a long and rigorous evaluation process, which takes several years before being authorized by the Ministries of Agriculture, Anvisa and Ibama for commercialisation. “This extreme care guarantees the benefit and, mainly, security for the farmer and society. This is the contribution of the plant health industry to the sustainable production of food in the Brazilian territory,” Kay added.
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