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Brazilian biofungicide to debut in 2011

The Brazilian government-developed Trichoderma stromaticum-based biofungicide, Tricovab, is expected to be available to Brazilian cocoa planters by November 2011, the Ministry of Agriculture says. Tricovab is for the control of witches’ broom ( Moniliophthora perniciosa), which has devastated the country’s cocoa crop since the 1980s. Within five years, production fell four-fold due to the disease. The Ministry’s cocoa commission, the Ceplac, has cloned 39 disease-resistant cocoa plants, and is trialling the biofungicide along with them, the Ministry notes. Tricovab has been under trials for eight years. The government has applied for its introduction in organic as well as conventional crops. It is still in the approval system, but is rated by the Ministry as a “priority”. The cocoa planters’ association, the Apcacau, believes the government wants several firms to be able to market the biofungicide, which would cost a fifth of that of chemical pesticides.

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