Banana production in Brazil

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Bananas under growth
A tufted capuchin eating Brazilian bananas

Banana production in Brazil accounts for approximately 10% of the entire world banana production,[1] 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.[2] In 2000, Brazil was fourth, behind India, Uganda and Ecuador, in banana production.[3] By 2006, Brazil became the second largest banana-producer, behind only India, followed by China, Ecuador and the Philippines.[4] Most of the bananas produced are consumed domestically.[3] 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.[5]

Brazil produces and consumes Cavendish, apple and fruit bananas and the main producer in Brazil is in the southeastern state of São Paulo with 16.4% of the Brazilian market, according to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE). Other notable areas where bananas in Brazil are cultivated include Prata in North-East Brazil; Belo Horizonte, Vitoria, Rio de Janeiro and Florianopolis in the southern and south-eastern regions.[6] As of 2004, 6.6 million tons of bananas were produced, with a turnover of a little in excess US$ 1 billion.[1]

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.[1] In Brazil, 20 scholars and researchers are working on the program, including ongoing collaboration in research into bananas with the Catholic University of Brasília (UCB) and with the French Agricultural Research Center for International Development (Cirad).[1] 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.[1] Apart from molecular genomics research, Embrapa also has a successful banana breeding program, generating disease-resistant varieties, such as the Pacovan Ken.[7] 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.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d e Abreau, Claudia (21 July 2005). "Brazil Maps Banana Genome and Vows to Save Fruit from Extinction". Brazzil magazine. Archived from the original on 16 January 2009. Retrieved December 22, 2008. 
  2. ^ Statistics from FAOSTAT -- Production quantities in tonnes of bananas: 5412360 (1997), 5322200 (1998), 5478350 (1999), 5663360 (2000), 6176960 (2001), 6422860 (2002), 6800981 (2003), 6583564 (2004), 6703400 (2005), 6956179 (2006), 6972408 (2007).
  3. ^ a b Muirhead, Ian F. (2 November 2003). "Report of a Study Tour of The Banana Industries in Ecuador, Costa Rica, Panama and Brazil.". The Australian Banana Growers Council Inc. ( Archived from the original on July 19, 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-27. FAO stats on world banana production in 2000 on page 6"; "Section on Brazil begins on page 13 
  4. ^ "Industry Statistics". The Australian Banana Growers Council Inc. ( Archived from the original on September 7, 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-27. World Banana Production, 2006 (Table 3), statistics from FAO 
  5. ^ "Banana Statistics 2005" (PDF). FAO. May 2006. Retrieved 2008-12-28. Table 1 - World gross exports by country, Table 5 - Exports by countries of destination 
  6. ^ "The banana crop in Brazil: economic aspects from production to sale". CTA. 2000. Retrieved December 22, 2008. 
  7. ^ Osava, Mario (2003). "The Banana Wars against Fungus". Retrieved December 22, 2008. 
  8. ^ "Genetic improvement: the only sustainable solution -- A tribute to our colleagues... Kenneth Shepherd (1927-2001)" (PDF). 2002. Retrieved 2008-12-27.