Interview: Researcher from Embrapa talks about the importance of irrigated agriculture and its relationship with Brazilian fruit growing
When it comes to irrigated agriculture, the use of drones, new and more efficiently irrigation equipments, pickdata with artificial intelligence, satellites and robots, are just some of the innovations that happen in the field. Brazil, a pioneer in the production of food and fruit, is currently a reference in the management of this technique.
And for you to understand a little more about the subject, Frutas do Brasil’s – the export program of the Brazilian Association of Producers and Exporters of Fruit and Derivatives (Abrafrutas), with the support from the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (ApexBrasil) – website team spoke with Lineu Rodrigues, deputy head of the research center at the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa), about the technique and its relationship with fruit growing in the country.
According to the researcher, irrigated agriculture has been used since Mesopotamian times to cultivate plants in areas with little rainfall. This technique is performed using irrigation systems, which allow the farmer to control the amount of water applied to the plants. In Brazil’s fruit production, irrigated agriculture has been a key factor in ensuring food production in semi-arid regions, and a kind of insurance for periods of water uncertainty, which are very common. In addition, the technique is also responsible for increasing the income of farmers and food security in the country.
Another important factor is that irrigation allows the diversification of agricultural production, guaranteeing the production of fruits that are not typical of the region. For example, in the Northeast of Brazil, irrigated agriculture enables the production of fruits such as mangoes, oranges and guava – all flagship fruits in Brazilian exports. “Irrigated agriculture is essential for the production of quality fruit that can be exported. This is because it facilitates planting, since rain cannot meet the water needs of food crops”, explains the researcher.
Lineu also explains that even though it already has 8.5 million irrigated hectares, Brazil still has a lot of potential to expand the use of the technique: “An irrigated area can produce much more food than a non-irrigated one, and Brazil can expand 55 million hectares of these areas”, he says. According to Lineu, the legislation, which often does not allow the expansion of the technique in the field, is still a point that needs to be improved.
About Frutas do Brasil
Abrafrutas (Brazilian Association of Producers and Exporters of Fruits and Derivatives), in partnership with ApexBrasil (Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency), develops a project to support Brazilian exporters in their quest to expand their business; opening new markets; recognition and differentiation of Brazilian fruits; increase the healthy habit of consuming tasty and superior quality fruits. Since the project started in 2014, Frutas do Brasil aims to show that Brazil is a provider of quality fruits produced in a sustainable way.