Brazil, a major importer of Portuguese, Spanish and Italian olive oil, presented the first extra virgin olive oil produced with olives  adapted to the Brazilian climate.

The product was introduced today by the state-owned Empresa de Pesquisa Agropecuaria de Minas Gerais (Epamig) at a special event at the Science for Life, a fair of agricultural innovations conducted every two years in the country and its seventh edition this week in Brasilia.

The production of olives and olive oil in Brazil caps a process that took nearly 30 years of work to adapt this crop typically from Mediterranean climate to that of a tropical country, reported the Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuaria (Embrapa), organizer of the fair.

The Epamig experienced different varieties of olive trees before finding the most appropriate to Brazilian conditions, and is currently experimenting with several types in different regions of the state of Minas Gerais.

The process took a significant step forward last year, when the company purchased the first machine for the extraction of extra virgin olive oil.

The machine, capable of grinding up to 100 kilos of pasta per hour, was operated experimentally last year and this year began to operate commercially.

The Epamig estimates that this year will reap a harvest of 50 tonnes of olives, large enough to produce 20,000 liters of oil.

The company is also producing about 30,000 saplings of olive trees per year to meet the demands of producers, especially small family farmers for which the olive was an important source of income.

According to Claudio Ferreira, a researcher in the area of Transfer and Diffusion of Technology Epamig, the main advantage of the olive trees grown in Brazil is that they can pay off within just four or five years, long before Europeans.

After six years they can reach their average yield, which is 25 kilos of olives per plant,” said the researcher. (Xinhua)


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