Brazilian fruit industries want to produce and export more fruit juice. For this reason, however, they are going to need more help from fruit farmers in the country.
The Brazilian Fruit Institute (IBRAF) and the Brazilian Agency for Industrial Development (ABDI) launched yesterday a program for the integration of farmers and agricultural product industries to improve the production of juice, nectar and pulps.
Brazil currently produces 35.3 million tons of fruit, of which just 17 million are processed by domestic industries.
According to the president of the IBRAF, Moacyr Saraiva Fernandes, Brazil has revenues of US$ 75 million with juice, pulp and fruit nectar exports. The target established for 2010 is US$ 200 million.
One of the first steps of the program is to diagnose the agro industrial sector. "We want to see where the bottlenecks and deficiencies are," stated Fernandes.
Before fomenting the establishment of new industries, the program is going to check the chances of recovery of companies that are stopped or need further technology to become competitive.
Another priority action will be to create an engagement between fruit farmers and primary industries, which make pulp, and the end industry, that makes the juice. One example of the lack of coordination among these two sectors may be seen in the peach industry sector.
According to Fernandes, the industry has a demand of between 14,000 and 15,000 tons of peach nectar per year, of which most is imported.
Brazil, however, has an abundance of peaches in the south of the country’s southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul. The country also imports large volumes of pear pulp and passion fruit concentrate. Both fruit are also produced in the country.
The program also intends to work on the training of the workforce for the sector. According to Fernandes, the Ministry of Education and Brazilian universities will be informed of the human resource needs of the Brazilian fruit farming sector.
"We need adequate professionals," stated the president of the IBRAF.
According to Alessandro Teixeira, president of the ABDI, an agency that works together with the Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, fruit farming is very important for the Brazilian government. "We are adding value to the sector," stated Teixeira.
According to Teixeira, there is foreign demand for Brazilian fruit. "Apart from traditional markets, like the United States and the European Union (EU), there are others that have been growing like Eastern Europe. The Asian and Arab market also present good possibilities," stated the president at the ABDI. It is necessary, however, to execute work to make products more adequate for the market, according to Teixeira.
According to him, for this reason the program is going to start with fruit farmers, to bring organizations like the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) and the National Institute of Metrology, Standardization and Industrial Quality (Inmetro).
The project will receive investment of R$ 1.2 million (US$ 533,000 at current exchange rates) in its first year. Half of these funds will come from the federal government and the other half from the private sector.
Brazil is currently the third largest fruit producer in the world. It loses only to China and India. The world fruit market grows 14% a year, according to information supplied by the ABDI. Brazil also has a target stipulated for fruit export. They currently total US$ 440 million a year, but should reach US$ 1 billion by 2010, according to Fernandes, from the IBRAF.
The values mentioned in the article do not include the orange juice sector, whose figures are greater. Brazil is the greatest exporter of orange juice in the world. The sector generates revenues of US$ 1.5 billion to the country.
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