Blueberry cultivation began in Brazil in the 1980s, mainly in the southern region of the country. Despite being a plant originally from places with a cold climate, the cultivation of the blueberry was possible in Brazil, thanks to a heat-resistant variety developed by the University of Florida, called “biloxy”.
Good results can be seen in the regions of Piracicaba (SP), in the São Francisco Valley, in Petrolina (PE), in Senador Amaral (MG), in Chapada Diamantina, in Nova Soure (BA) and also in Ceará. Despite the growing interest in culture, it is estimated that Brazil still imports around 80% of what is consumed in the country, especially from the United States, Canada and Peru reports abrafrutas.org
In Goiás, agronomist Fritz Mohn Penteado started to study the fruit and invested in this market, on the family property in the municipality of Cristalina, 280 kilometers from Goiânia. “I wanted to produce something different, with added value due to the fact that we don't have a large area available for planting. I went to Brasília to see their orchard at UnB [University of Brasília] and also in São Paulo. Afterwards, I found out that there was an incentive for fruit production in Goiás, through the Rota da Fruticultura project. In the first lecture I attended, I was very excited and understood that I was on the right path,” recalls Fritz.
The Rota da Fruticulture aims to transform the Cerrado into the newest fruit hub in Brazil. The initiative is coordinated by the Development Company of the São Francisco and Parnaíba Valleys (Codevasf) and developed jointly with the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) and the National Supply Company (Conab), and partners, such as the National Learning Service Rural (Senar GO and DF), Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply (Mapa), Technical Assistance and Rural Extension Company (Emater), among others.
For the producer, the way out is the arrival of incentives for production in Brazil to take off and reach other markets. “We can see how great the demand for blueberries is in producing countries like the United States. Peru, close to us, for example, has all of its production for the foreign market. Encouraging production is the way for us to sell more easily. The State's potential is for us to be major producers, but it is essential to have more and more incentives so that we can mainly export, concludes Fritz.