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Development of new technology for production of macaúba palm seedling on large scale and low cost

Grant number: 17/16784-1
Support Opportunities:Program for Research on Bioenergy (BIOEN) - PIPE
Duration: December 01, 2018 - August 31, 2019
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Agronomy - Crop Science
Principal Investigator:Luiz Henrique Chorfi Berton
Grantee:Luiz Henrique Chorfi Berton
Host Company:Luiz Henrique Chorfi Berton
CNAE: Produção de mudas e outras formas de propagação vegetal, certificadas
City: Serra Negra
Associated researchers:Carlos Augusto Colombo ; Cássia Regina Limonta Carvalho ; Joaquim Adelino de Azevedo Filho
Associated scholarship(s):19/02079-0 - Testing of new processing techniques for obtaining and germination of macaúba seeds from green fruits, BP.TT
18/25442-0 - Development of new technology for production of large-scale, low-cost Macaúba palm seedlings, BP.BIOEN.PIPE


The growing global demand for vegetable oils for food and energy will lead to increased production of oilseeds. Almost 122 of the current 187 million tons of vegetable oils produced in the world correspond to palm oil and soybean oils. Palm oil is grown in the tropics in areas formerly occupied by forests, and soybean oil is a byproduct of protein meal. Therefore, alternative sources of vegetable oil must be economically competitive and offer sustainability indexes higher than those provided by palm oil and soybean. In this context, macaúba palm (Acrocomia aculeata) is a palm tree that produces an equal or greater quantity of oil and of the same quality as the oil palm, of great occurrence in the American continent and very present in areas of cerrado and with well-defined water deficits. These characteristics arouse growing interest in the culture that has been building its production chain. Among the existing demands, the availability of low-cost seedlings is a key element to leverage commercial plantations, since they represent a high cost in their implementation. In nature, only 1 to 3% of the seeds germinate spontaneously and nonuniformly, being the main challenge to be overcome. Four companies produce seedlings on a large scale. The production of macaúba palm seedlings is essentially made from seeds collected from mature fruits that are collected in Brazil in the months of December and January. Due to mechanical and physiological numbness, the current germination process is laborious, onerous and the seedlings are available for planting one year after fruit collection, usually at the end of the rainy season. Faced with these challenges, our hypothesis of study is based on reports that green fruits may not present dormancy and that it is possible to overcome the difficulties of access to the seed of the macaúba palm fruit through mechanical and / or chemical processes. Thus, the main objective of the proposal is the viability of a new procedure for obtaining seeds, germination and seedling production on a large scale at low cost and early for planting at the beginning of the water period. Fruit collection tests will be performed as of the sixth month of fertilization and tests of drying, peeling, depolping and removal of the endocarp in a mechanical, chemical and enzymatic way to determine the best combination of treatments. In all the stages will be evaluated the yield and cost of production. The seeds obtained will receive treatments to break dormancy and placed to germinate. After germinating, the seeds will be monitored to estimate the speed index and percentage of germination. The germinated seeds will be transferred to tubes and the development of the seedlings accompanied until the nursery stage (2 months after germination). Thus, it is intended to generate and patent a technological package that identifies the best time of fruit collection and the best method for obtaining and later seed germination in terms of yield and cost. It is hoped to continue the study by creating a large-scale, low-cost company for seedling production. This company will be a reference in the production of early and affordable seedlings to meet the demand for macaúba seedlings in the states of São Paulo and Minas Gerais. (AU)

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