Partnership between ABRAFRUTAS and Dimitra yields positive results for the fruit sector in Brazil
With the mission of providing technology to farmers worldwide, Dimitra, a global agtech company, established a partnership with the Brazilian Association of Fruit and Derivative Producers and Exporters (ABRAFRUTAS) last year. This union aims to explore how Dimitra’s technologies can be used to increase efficiency in the production, logistics, and export of Brazilian fruits.
The partnership is seen as crucial for the sector, as Brazil is the world’s third-largest fruit producer, producing over 56 million tons of fruits annually and employing around 16% of all agribusiness workforce in Brazil.
The first action taken to initiate this partnership was to identify ways to predict and detect areas where Citrus Canker occurs, a bacterium that attacks all varieties and species of citrus and is one of the most serious diseases in Brazilian citrus farming.
Citrus canker is one of the most concerning diseases in global citrus farming as it reduces the productivity of affected plants due to defoliation and premature fruit drop. While it poses no risk to human health, it has a significant negative impact on the commercialization and transportation of fresh fruits due to the risk of pathogen dissemination, limiting the sale of production to other regions and countries.
However, despite the disease being easily detectable to the naked eye, the sector lacks a way to optimize the risk analysis and control process that helps reduce the risk of exporting infected fruits, which can affect the entire Brazilian citrus exportation.
With this objective in mind, Dimitra initiated a project to study and analyze ways to help farmers predict, prevent, and mitigate the risk of Citrus Canker, as well as assist in monitoring this disease, which in 2022 led to the suspension of lemon exports to Europe.
After studying the factors that favor the occurrence of the disease and conducting research in various countries worldwide, Dimitra developed an algorithm that showed 95% accuracy in detecting the disease and the percentage of infected trees, using publicly available data from other countries.
The next step of the project is to use data from national production to validate the algorithm and, if necessary, refine it for national realities. After this stage, ABRAFRUTAS and Dimitra will seek ways to develop a commercial platform that can assist producers in their mission to combat this pest. The objective is to reduce costs and mitigate risks for the producers.
Eduardo Brandão, Executive Director of ABRAFRUTAS, stated that “the partnership with Dimitra will certainly contribute to solving some technological bottlenecks in the sector and, consequently, help maintain and increase our competitiveness in the domestic and international markets.” The partnership with Dimitra will allow ABRAFRUTAS to be at the forefront of agricultural technology and, thus, achieve its goals of feeding the world.
Diego Costa, Director of Dimitra for Latam, said, “We are honored to support ABRAFRUTAS’ goals and assist them in their mission to feed the world. They are leaders in the fruit sector and an important partner in Dimitra’s expansion in South America.”
ABRAFRUTAS and Dimitra will continue to explore other bottlenecks and identify effective solutions to improve the production, logistics, and export of Brazilian fruits to meet the needs of consumers worldwide. Dimitra will continue to utilize its innovative technology to help Brazilian fruit farming remain among the world’s top producers and further expand Brazilian exports.