Brazil and Oman help control diseases in mango and citrus plantations

About Vale

1/14/2019

Brazil and Oman help control diseases in mango and citrus plantations

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Prof. Acelino Alfenas(UFV), with Abdulah AL-Saadi(SQU), Thomas Harrington(ISU) and doctor Leonardo Oliveira(UFV) / Vale Archive

What do Brazil and Oman have in common? In addition to Vale's operations, both countries are important agricultural producers. "When Vale started its operations in Oman, we looked to strengthen ties between our countries. In 2009, the Omani authorities were concerned about diseases that had been affecting their mango and lemon plantations and this is where the opportunity for a scientific partnership between the two countries arose," recallsSérgio Leite, director of Sustainability and Institutional Relations at Vale, who was then CEO of Oman.

Vale then promoted the agreement between the researchers of the Federal University of Viçosa (UFV), which is a reference in Brazil in the study of agricultural pathologies, and the University of Sultan Qaboos. With funding from Vale, in the region of R$ 8 million, an unpublished genetic survey was carried out on the varieties of the Ceratocystis fimbriata fungus, which causes dryness in mango trees, as well as studies on the witch-broom disease, found in citrus fruits. Mango is one of the most consumed fruits in Brazil and is the seventh largest producer in the world. In Oman, mango is the third fruit most popular fuit, second only to the date and banana.

The scientific partnership, in addition to being unprecedented, has yielded excellent results for both countries

said Vale's current CEO in Oman, Jamil Sebe

Partial view of 'Ubá' mangoes grown in pots / Vale Archive

About the agreement

Initiated in 2011, the agreement between the two institutions lasted seven years, promoting technology transfer and resulted in the publication of 150 scientific papers and the training and qualification of 74 professionals, including postdoctors, doctors and masters. It also allowed for the modernization of the laboratory infrastructure of the UFV, with the purchase of a DNA sequencer and several pieces of laboratory equipment and state-of-the-art agricultural machinery; and the formation of a germplasm bank at the university, boasting 1,208 trees of 302 different mango varieties, now considered one of the largest in Latin America.

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Brazil and Oman help control diseases in mango and citrus plantations