Brazil gains its first biopesticide from IHARA for post-harvest application
- IHARA, a company specializing in crop protection technologies, has just gained the country's first register for use of a post-harvest biopesticide. Launched in 2017 for pre-harvest uses, Eco-shot biofungicide will now help to protect the quality and value of farmers' production even after the products have left the field.About 45 percent of fruit and vegetable production is lost worldwide, according to estimates by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. Of this total, 40 percent of the losses occur after harvest. "Every link in the chain loses with waste and loss of quality, but this is mainly reflected in the price paid to the grower", says the manager of IHARA's Biological Products, Maurício Hideki Ouchi. "By protecting the quality of production before and after harvest, Eco-shot is also protecting the farmer's profit," he explains.The fact that Brazil has a biological product to avoid the proliferation of fungi after harvest has strategic implications for the domestic market and for exports. The use of fungicides after harvest raises the shelf life of the food before it deteriorates, which is extremely important so that the product can face the long journeys to the importing countries. However, importing countries follow strict standards of maximum residue limits of chemical pesticides in food. As it is a biofungicide, Eco-shot does not face these restrictions, which opens up new possibilities for Brazil to meet external markets.This potential is enormous, especially in the fruit segment. Though it is the third major global fruit producer, Brazil is the 23rd country in the export ranking of these products, sending abroad only 2.5% of the volume produced, according to the data from Brazilian Association of Producers Exporting Fruit and Vegetables (Abrafrutas). "Phytosanitary barriers are one of the main impediments for Brazil to improve its position on this list, therefore it is so important to have a registered biofungicide for the post-harvest," says Hideki.