Source:Agropages.comTags: Maranhao, phytosanitary emergency, Emamectin benzoate, Helicoverpa Armigera
The state of Maranhão, Brazil has recently declared "phytosanitary emergency" due to an infestation of the Helicoverpa Armigera caterpillar, popularly known as "earworm" in North America.The state has received the classification from Brazil's Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Supply. The goal of the measure is to release the imports of pesticides that have Emamectin benzoate as the main asset. Measures such as the fallowing, common in the Center-west of Brazil, and the destruction of the remainings of the crops should also be implemented. A decree, published last Friday at the Brazil's Official Gazette, is valid for a year. The measure covers the regions East and South of the state. Prior to Maranhão, the Ministry of Agriculture had declared "state of phytosanitary emergency" in the states of Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Goiás, Piauí, Bahia, and Minas Gerais. Brazil lives a legal battle in terms of plant protection. On one side of aisle are the growers, who affirm that the pesticides are not being effective to combat the Helicoverpa Armigera caterpillar. On the other side of the aisle is the Federal Public Ministry (federal prosecution arm of the Brazilian government), which apparently is trying to prohibit the release of the Emamectin benzoate. "The use of agrochemicals which contain Emamectin benzoate attends exclusively the political and economical interests, disregarding environmental concerns and especially the protection of human health from a highly toxic substance", says federal Attorney Felipe Bogado. Brazil's farmers demonstrate deep concerns over the costs increases stemming from the caterpillar. The costs might reach R$ 600 million in the 2013/2014 crop season. According to the representative of the Association of Cotton Producers of Bahia Júlio César Busatto, this bill will fall on the backs of final consumers. "For instance, in the state of Bahia we had over R$ 2 billion on losses in the last crop. This year, we had profits and therefore we have diminished the losses, and now are paying a bill of R$ 1 billion. Then, this 'arm wrestling' cannot stay with farmers, over a year and a half, with decisions that are very fragile", vented Busatto.
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