Santa Catarina is an important banana producing state. Its production is concentrated in family properties, located on slopes and with great interaction with the Atlantic Forest ecosystem. In institutional terms, it is typical for producers to organize themselves through municipal associations. In this sense, the present proposal aims to work the qualification of the producer under the integrated production approach, offering cultivation practices with focus on environmental preservation and the economic viability of the sector.  

 

The practices were disseminated through technical follow-up, field days, production of genetic material, installation and maintenance of demonstration units and clonal gardens, and the publicity of the technologies was made with leaflets. The main results of the practice are: the renewal of 131 ha (13 producers) of banana crops that improved fruit quality and increase productivity by at least 30%; soil conservation by means of cover crops in 97 ha (10 producers); substituting herbicides for the use of crop cutters in 616 ha (60 producers); Establishment of five (5) reference units in the municipalities of Itajaí, Luiz Alves, Massaranduba, Corupá and Garuva.

  

A - General information

 

START: April 2015.

CONCLUSION: In progress 

EXECUTING ENTITY: Agricultural Research and Rural Extension Company of Santa Catarina - EPAGRI

PARTNERS: Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply - MAPA

SUBMITTED BY: André Boldrin Beltrame, Idelbrando Nora, Luana Aparecida Castilho Maro, Ramon Felipe Scherer, Rafael Ricardo Cantú, Ricardo Jose Zimmermann de Negreiros.

RESOURCES: Proprietary and third parties

VALUE RANGE: Above US$25,000 

CATEGORY: Reference Unit

MAIN THEME AREA: Agriculture

KEYWORDS: Banana culture; integrated production; producer’s organization; cultivation systems; banana crops renewal; Epagri.

TARGET AUDIENCE: Producers and their associations; rural extension agents and technicians from other institutions.

LOCATION: Rural Area

GEOGRAPHICAL SCOPE: Micro-regional

MICRO-REGION MUNICIPALITIES: Itajaí, Luiz Alves, Corupá, Garuva and Massaranduba

SPECIFIC AREA OF IMPLEMENTATION: Epagri's Experimental Station and rural properties interacting with or close to the Atlantic forest. In the municipality of Itajaí, the reference unit is located at the Epagri's Experimental Station, located in the Itaipava neighborhood. On the other hand, in the municipalities of Luiz Alves, Massaranduba, Corupá and Garuva they were installed in the communities Ribeirão Canoas, Massarandubinha, Estrada Felipe Schmidt and Três Barras, respectively.

 

B - Description of the practice

 

1 - BACKGROUND

A considerable part of Brazilian consumers have been raising their awareness of the purchase of nutritional quality, free from agrochemicals products, with special attention to production aspects such as environmental preservation and the quality of life of rural producers. Following the demands of society in the late 1990s, the Epagri began studies on early warning mechanisms for Sigatoka disease, which is caused by the fungi Mycosphaerellafijiensis and Mycosphaerellamusicola. Monitoring and management technologies developed at the time allowed the reduction of up to 50% of the number of pesticide applications in banana crops in Santa Catarina. 

Recent studies have shown that many banana crops in Santa Catarina have more than 20 years of cultivation, with non recommended plant density, as well as uneven spatial distribution. In an article published in 2016, the Epagri's researchers concluded that in the northern coast of Santa Catarina only 18% of the banana cultivation areas of the Cavendish subgroup with more than 10 years have the banana population recommended by Epagri (1,550-1,650 plants/ha), with 43% above and 39% below. Density directly affects production that can be reduced by 20%, in addition to plants genetic quality loss and management issues, which leads to inefficient use of inputs in banana crops. 

The region's steep slope and the incorrect soil management contribute to the loss of soil and water. Thus, extension agents and researchers from government institutions, technicians from banana culture associations and producers, have sought alternative cultivation methods and good practices in line with the sustainable management of their crops, such as the cultivation of cover crop plants. As a reference to this new model of production, banana farmers in Santa Catarina rely on the Technical Standards for Banana Integrated Production (2005), whose construction involved the entire banana production chain.

  

2- GENERAL OBJECTIVE

To develop actions that boost the integrated banana production in the State of Santa Catarina.

Specific objectives:: 

  • Performing field days to train technicians and farmers on banana crops renewal and cover crops;
  • Installing and maintaining soil cover units (8.0 ha) in Luiz Alves, Corupá, Garuva and Massaranduba;
  • Following up and analyzing the technology validation units on banana crop renewal (8.0 ha) in Luiz Alves, Corupá, Garuva and Massaranduba;
  • Designing leaflets on bananas Integrated Production and seedlings production system;
  • Providing and implementing technical knowledge in reference units;
  • Performing the maintenance of the Clonal Gardens of banana cultivars: Prata Anã, Prata Catarina, Nanicão, NanicãoCorupá, Grande Naine e Willians;
  • Producing explants of bananas in protected cultivation in clonal gardens;
  • Training producers on the benefits of long-term investment in preventing bad weather conditions such as hail and frost. 

 

3 - SOLUTION ADOPTED

For the implantation and enhancement of the technologies in line with the banana integrated production in the State of Santa Catarina, some steps developed by Epagri's researchers and extension agents stand out The first one concerns the implantation and maintenance of explants supplying clonal gardens. The gardens provide the productive chain with banana trees seedlings with high genetic and sanitary quality. It is estimated that from the generation of virus-free matrices until the obtaining of rhizomes, a year of growing in the nettings is necessary. In turn, after in vitro inoculation of the explants, it is necessary another year to obtain a seedling that can be taken to the field. 

The Epagri's clonal garden is composed of two nettings: one with 1.020m2 and the other with 684m2. They are protected by anti-insect netting and have irrigation below the treetop. Crops handlings are similar to the ones of banana plantations, with adjustments to protected cultivation and rhizomes production, such as: apical dominance disruption for the production of a larger quantity of rhizomes; greater crop density; and netting internal temperature control with the use of crop nebulizers and fans.

At the site the main banana cultivars planted in Santa Catarina and in Brazil are kept: SCS451 Catarina (Prata Catarina) - resistant to Panama disease, good yield, subgroup Prata; SCS452 Corupá (NanicãoCorupá) - smaller, good yield; Grand Nain - high yield and; BRS SCS Belluna - resistant to major crop diseases, specific for industry processing and for children's consumption. 

In a second moment, banana crops demonstration units were installed, aiming at the renovation of plants, uneven spatial correction and the use of cover crop for demonstration in field days. Among some of the Epagri's recommendations for banana management there are the use of a density of 1,550 to 1,650 plants/ha for banana cultivation areas of the Cavendish subgroup, and from 1,150 to 1,250 plants/ha for banana cultivation areas of the Prata subgroup; use of micro-propagated seedlings from biofactories with MAPA registration; cover crop as the cultivation of the mixture of vetch, turnip and ryegrass in the winter and; banana crop fertilization in order to cover the entire crop (broadcast application) in areas with organic matter content above 3% and located in areas with low organic matter content.

For the implementation of these techniques, Epagri's extension agents and association technicians got in contact with reference producers of the main banana producing municipalities in Santa Catarina. The units were installed by Epagri's farmers, extension agents and researchers. Each area is managed by the responsible producer, but the material required for the installation and maintenance of the implemented variables, such as cover plants and banana seedlings, are supplied and applied by Epagri technicians. The period from the beginning of the Demonstration Unit's implementation until results are obtained – for a field day – is at least two banana cycles (two years).

Finally, Epagri distributes promotional materials on the subject, such as leaflets and primers on: banana management (monitoring of Sigatoka, streaks on the banana tree); cultivars (Prata Catarina, Nanicão Corupá and Belluna); explant supplying clonal gardens; Cavendish banana harvest point; standards for banana integrated production. These technical materials are available for producers at the Epagri's local offices and at banana farmers associations, and they are also distributed in field days and courses for technicians and young rural farmers organized by Epagri. These activities and many others performed by Epagri help with the publicity of the research and extension results achieved by the company aiming at developing the banana culture of the state of Santa Catarina.

 

4 - RESULTS ACHIEVED

The results achieved through the systematization, promotion and dissemination of technologies in line with the banana integrated production in the state of Santa Catarina are:

  • Reduction of pre- and post-harvest losses due to the reduction of damages to fruits resulting from pest attack and diseases; from their abrasion to old leaves; from fruit burns caused by extreme temperatures; from bruising in the transport and from a greater fruit cleaning and packaging, among others;
  • Renewal of 131 ha (13 producers) of banana crops, promoting improvement in fruit quality and productivity increase by at least 30%;
    Soil conservation:
  • Use of cover crops in 97 ha (10 producers);Substituting herbicides for the use of crop cutters in 616 ha (60 producers);
    84 producers trained in Integrated Production;
  • Implantation and maintenance of five (5) Technical Reference Units in Integrated Production (Banana Crops Renewal and Soil Coverage with Summer and Winter Forages);
  • Implementation of 1,704 m² of nettings for the protected cultivation of Clonal Gardens of Banana Cultivars Matrices at the Epagri's Experimental Station of Itajaí;
  • Modernization and maintenance of a laboratory for the production of banana meristem seedlings - 1 laboratory at the Epagri's Experimental Station of Itajaí;
  • Production and distribution of 2000 leaflets for dissemination of the techniques used in the Banana Integrated Program;
    Construction of packinghouses suitable to the requirements of the Plant Sanitary Defense of the State of Santa Catarina;
    Increase in the product's shelf-life on markets, ranging from three to six days, depending on other variables such as weather and transportation.

 

5 - REQUIRED RESOURCES

For the development and maintenance of clonal gardens and reference units, the following are necessary:

 

Human Resources

  • Team responsible for research in tropical fruit farming at the Itajaí Experimental Station: 5 agricultural engineers researchers with doctorate degree and 2 agricultural engineers researchers with master's degree; 1 agricultural technician; 3 laboratories technicians; one 1 tractor driver, and 8 rural workers;
  • Team responsible for validating and disseminating technologies to producers: 5 extension agents with a degree in Agronomy.

Material resources  

  • Two nettings for protected cultivation of banana matrices with approximate area of 1,700 m²;
  • Laboratory of plant tissue culture equipped with: 2 vertical autoclaves; 2 laminar flow chambers; 1 reverse osmosis equipment; 1 controlled environment plant growth room with LED-illuminated shelves for in vitro culture; 1 Fitotron with controlled temperature and LED illumination; besides that, the laboratory is equipped with other laboratory equipment such as refrigerators, freezers, drying oven, scientific scales, pHmeters, laboratory reagents, etc.;
  • Two (2) vehicles for the transport of the technicians to the field.

 

6 - PRACTICE TRANSFER  

 

The practice can be replicated by other technical assistance and rural extension institutions, as well as producers interested in using available technologies. Currently, the practice is disseminated in banana farmers associations from neighboring municipalities Technical Reference Units. These associations are: ABLA - Associação dos Bananicultores de Luiz Alves (Association of Banana Farmers of Luiz Alves); ASBANCO - Associação dos Bananicultores de Corupá (Association of Banana Farmers of Corupá); APROBAM - Associação dos Produtores de Banana de Massaranduba (Association of Banana Producers of Massaranduba); ABS - Associação Dos Bananicultores de Schroeder (Association of Banana Farmers of Schroeder), and Associação dos Produtores Rurais de Garuva (Association of Rural Producers of Garuva).

 

 

7 -LESSONS LEARNED

Most of the techniques recommended by Epagri to banana farmers were already in line with the good practices praised by the Banana Integrated Production, facilitating the adoption of technologies or processes recommended by IP Technical Standards. The organization of banana farmers in Associations and Cooperatives facilitated the implementation of good practices, but the lack of recognition by the market in the short term and the hiring of MAPA accredited companies to audit certification has discouraged many producers to adopt such practices.
Banana Integrated Production is recognized as a good practice once it meets the global requirements for environmentally clean, socially fair and economically sustainable agricultural production, specifically for: 

  • Integrating the use of available natural resources (decreasing the use of external inputs);
  • High-quality production;
  • Minimizing the use of inputs;
  • Using pest and disease monitoring techniques;
  • Ensuring competitiveness;
  • Reducing environmental contamination;
  • Sector sustainability;
  • Food safety through production traceability. 

New technologies, such as the development of banana cultivars resistant to major diseases and that meet the demands of the consumer market, are the main research challenges today, since they require a long time of studies, as well as material and human resources.

 

8 - ORIGINALITY OF PRACTICE

Integrated Production was introduced in Brazil in 1998 through the cultivation of apple. In 2005, the Normative Instruction was published approving the Specific Technical Standards for Banana Integrated Production. Therefore, it is verified that there are standards that guide the techniques used for the production and helped in the development of the proposal. On the other hand, the planning and methodologies used to implement the practice are original and were developed by the Epagri.

  

 

 

Scheduled visits available from February to June. Maximum number of 20 people per group of visitors.

 

¹NEGREIROS, Ricardo José Zimmermann de;  HINZ, Robert Harri; STUKER, Henri; MARO, Luana Aparecida Castilho. Estimativa da densidade populacional de bananeiras do subgrupo Cavendish em áreas de produção na região do litoral norte catarinense. Agropecuária Catarinense, Florianópolis, v.29, n.1, p.73-77, jan./abr. 2016. 

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