Brazil’s government, institutions and citrus growers need to join efforts to overcome greening “so that Brazil does not go through the same situation as Florida,” a São Paulo agriculture official declared Nov. 7. Orlando Melo de Castro, undersecretary of agriculture, made those remarks to about 500 people at an international citrus symposium in Araraquara, São Paulo. “To this end, we have established action measures, such as the creation of the committee to combat greening and a channel for reporting orchards with the disease,” he added.
The symposium’s theme was “The new citrus industry: Citrus production and automation systems.” The event was promoted by Fundecitrus, with the support of the Agromillora Group and the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation.
The president of Fundecitrus, Lourival Carmo Monaco, gave the symposium’s opening speech about the importance of the evolution of citrus farming. “We need to evolve along with science and technology, improve safety and quality in the field, adapting to new working methods,” Monaco said. “The market changes and the new citrus industry in São Paulo also needs to modernize.”
Fundecitrus General Manager Juliano Ayres and Fundecitrus researcher Renato Bassanezi spoke about the trends and challenges of the new citrus industry.
“The symposium provided the sector with updated information on mechanized harvesting, automation of operations, dwarfing rootstocks and pruning, with experts from several countries showing what the direction of citrus farming in the future will be,” Ayres said. “Even with the great challenge that is greening, this information will help the citrus grower in planning his orchard and transforming the citrus sector.”
Eduardo Girardi, a researcher with the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation, discussed new rootstocks, densification and pruning of citrus in Brazil.
Ignasi Iglesias, technical and development director of the Agromillora Group, discussed a new production model for citrus. “I presented practices carried out in other countries, in different cultures, and how efficient they can be in Brazilian citrus farming,” Iglesias said. “It is necessary to innovate along with new concepts, new production models and new material and, even with the challenges faced with greening, this change will be very important for the citrus sector.”
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