Biotechnology in Brazilian Agribusiness

Specialized Professor writes the article for AgriBrasilis.


Lilian Cristina Pereira has a degree in pharmacy from Uniararas, a master’s and doctorate in toxicology from the University of São Paulo (USP), and a postdoctoral degree from the University of São Paulo (USP) in the Department of Chemistry. She is currently a Professor in the Department of Bioprocesses and Biotechnology at the School of Agronomic Sciences of Botucatu at UNESP, professor of the Postgraduate Program in Pathology at the Faculty of Medicine and Coordinator of the Center for Environmental Impact Assessment on Human Health (TOXICAM).


The Professor wrote the following article for AgriBrasilis, on the subject of biotechnology in agribusiness.


Responsible for the availability of food on the table, the pillar of production and human development and one of the few sectors of the Brazilian economy that maintains positive results during the crisis caused by the pandemic of the new coronavirus: agriculture today has a huge diversity of tools that allow the best management and management of culture. And the agribusiness manager can count on biotechnology to leverage his production. Much of the technological evolution of agriculture is related to the use of biotechnology.


The importance of biotechnology for agribusiness goes far beyond transgenics or genetically modified organisms. It is in genetic improvement, in agriculture 4.0, in green chemistry, in the development of selective agricultural inputs (that is, safer and that cause effects only on target organisms), in bioremediation, in biological control and integrated pest management, among others.


According to data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in 2019, agricultural production in Brazil has become more efficient. Since in the last decade the country has advanced in quantity produced, but using practically the same planted area. This advance was made possible by the application of biotechnological tools and techniques.


Biotechnology includes several methodologies and can be conceptualized as “any technological application that uses biological systems, living organisms or derived from them to produce or modify products or processes of interest and market value” and stands out as one of the most promising economic and technological activities and innovative. In this way, Biotechnology has an important and strategic role in the context of agribusiness.


Biotechnological tools (classic or emerging) play a central role in the search for solutions to mitigate current and future problems. It is in Brazil’s interest to maintain sustainable agriculture that preserves the environment and provides future food security. Undoubtedly, it is a major challenge for nations and also a major factor for the development of humanity in the face of climate change and the decline of non-renewable energy resources.


In this context, the prospects for the future are good. According to an article published this year (January 2020) by Bruno de Pierro from Agência Fapesp, the use of biotechnologies may be one of the keys to making agriculture resilient, increasing productivity in the field and mitigating the effects of climate change. As previously mentioned, biotechnology is one of the most promising activities in all sectors of the Brazilian economy, as it is aligned with the development of products and, above all, solutions.