07 Jan 2023

Blueberries in Brazil: 80% imports but huge investment plans ahead


The cultivation of blueberry began in Brazil in the 1980s, mainly in the southern region of the country. Despite being a plant native to cold climates, the cultivation of blueberries was made possible in Brazil, thanks to a heat-resistant variety developed by the University of Florida called "biloxy."

Good results have been observed in the regions of Piracicaba (SP), São Francisco Valley, Petrolina (PE), Senador Amaral (MG), Chapada Diamantina, Nova Soure (BA), and also in Ceará. Despite the growing interest in this crop, it is estimated that Brazil still imports about 80 percent of what is consumed in the country, mainly from the United States, Canada, and Peru, reports abrafrutas.org.

In Goiás, agronomist Fritz Mohn Penteado began studying the fruit and invested in this market, on his family's property in the municipality of Cristalina, 280 kilometers from Goiânia. "I wanted to produce something different, with added value, because we do not have a large area available for cultivation."

"I went to Brasilia to see his garden at UnB (University of Brasilia) and also to São Paulo. Then I found out that there was an incentive for fruit production in Goiás, through the Rota da Fruticultura project. At the first conference I attended, I was very excited and realized I was on the right track," Fritz recalls.

Fritz Mohn Penteado, agronomist.
Fritz Mohn Penteado, agronomist.

The Rota da Fruticulture aims to transform the Cerrado into Brazil's new fruit-growing center. The initiative is being coordinated by the São Francisco and Parnaíba Valleys Development Society (Codevasf) and developed in collaboration with the Brazilian Agricultural Research Society (Embrapa) and the National Supply Society (Conab), and with partners such as the National Rural Learning Service (Senar GO and DF), the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply (Mapa), and the Society for Technical Assistance and Rural Extension (Emater), among others.

Photo of biloxy, the variety of blueberry grown in Brazil.
Photo of biloxy, the variety of blueberry grown in Brazil.

For the producer, the way out is the arrival of incentives to get production off the ground in Brazil and reach other markets. "We can see how big the demand is for blueberries in producing countries like the United States. Peru, which is close to us, for example, has all its production going to the foreign market. Encouraging production is the way to sell more easily. The potential of the state is to be big producers, but it is essential to have more and more incentives to be able to export," Fritz concludes.

Source: Blueberries Consulting
Blueberries Consulting is part of the global network of Italian Berry

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