São Paulo, 18 – The Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) and the Executive Committee of the Cocoa Crops Plan (Ceplac) signed on Tuesday, 17, a technical cooperation agreement for the installation of a Joint Research and Innovation Unit (Umipi ), headquartered at the Cocoa Research Center (Cepec / Ceplac), in Ilhéus (BA). Umipi Cacau will centralize scientific studies in this area, also covering the States of Pará and Rondônia.
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The expectation of Embrapa and Ceplac is that the new Umipi will contribute with technological solutions to boost cocoa production in the country. Brazil, which was already the second largest cocoa producer in the world, is currently in seventh position in the world market. Much of this drop is due to the incidence, the fungus Mischievous Moniliophtora, which causes the disease known as witches’ broom, in the cocoa region of Bahia.
The general coordinator of Research, Development and Innovation at Ceplac, Manfred Müller, said in the statement that this disease led to a drastic drop in Brazilian cocoa production, from 450 thousand tons in the 1980s to around 240 thousand in 2019, from according to IBGE data. “Bahia, severely affected by the witches’ broom, has not recovered until today and, currently, is the second largest producing region at national level, with around 110 thousand tons, behind Pará, which produces approximately 111 thousand tons. ” Then comes Espírito Santo, Rondônia, Amazonas and Mato Grosso.
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