Banana production in Brazil accounts for approximately 10% of the entire world banana production, making Brazil a major banana-producing country in the world. Production has steadily increased over the years, rising from 5.4 million tonnes in 1997 to almost 7 million tonnes in 2007. In 2000, Brazil was fourth, behind India, Uganda and Ecuador, in banana production. By 2006, Brazil became the second largest banana-producer, behind only India, followed by China, Ecuador and the Philippines. Most of the bananas produced are consumed domestically. Gross exports has increased from 12.5 thousand tonnes in 1995 to more than 220 thousand tonnes in 2002 and 2003, mostly to neighbours Argentina and Uruguay, but these figures are still far behind industry leaders such as Ecuador, Costa Rica, the Philippines and Colombia which export more than a million tonnes of bananas annually.
Genetic research into banana production and scientific studies is helping to maximise output and quality, in addition to increasing resistance to disease increasingly as the country is developing. A Banana Genome program and a genetic data bank, the DataMusa, is in place institutionally in Brazil to monitor and conduct research. The data bank has 40,000 sequences of DNA and another 5,000 genes and under surveillance of the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) in Brazil. . In Brazil, 20 scholars and researchers are working on the program, including on-going collaboration in research into bananas with the Catholic University of Brasília (UCB) and with the French Agricultural Research Center for International Development (Cirad). Notably the programme has done much since 2002 to curtail the effects of the Black Sigatoka which previously caused widespread disaster to banana plantations in the Amazon. The Brazilian Banana Genome program is also supported by the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) internationally with support from experts in countries such as France and Belgium, UK, Japan and the Czech Republic. Apart from molecular genomics research, Embrapa also has a successful banana breeding program, generating disease-resistant varieties, such as the Pacovan Ken. Pacovan Ken, a banana breed resistant to yellow and black sigatoka and to Panama disease launched in November 2001 as a national crop plant in Brazil, is named after Embrapa scientist Kenneth Shepherd.