HOW CITRUS FARMING HELPS PRESERVE THE ENVIRONMENT
Citriculture in São Paulo has proven to be a true environmental asset. A survey conducted by Fundecitrus, a research centre that brings together producers and industry, shows that in the last 30 years the sector has reduced its productive area, which considers only the areas with trees in production age, by 40%, going from 631,000 hectares in 1988 to 376,000 hectares in the current harvest.
In the same period, employing technologies and increasingly efficient planting systems, productivity went from 13.75 tons per hectare to an average of 42.64 tons of oranges per hectare, an upsurge of 210%.
With a more efficient production, the sector managed to guarantee a production in harmony with biodiversity. Data from Fundecitrus, crossed with information from the Rural Environmental Registry (CAR) and IBGE, show that in the 2019/2020 harvest, properties with citrus crops encompassed 181,750 hectares of native forest. Considering the total planted area of oranges is of 459,058 hectares, and that it comprises both areas with trees in production age and the areas with young and not yet productive trees, for every 2.52 hectares planted with citrus crops, 1 hectare corresponds to native forest areas.
Another aspect that highlights the sustainability of the sector is the production consorted with honey. In the last 10 years, the honey production in the orange areas of the State of São Paulo grew 136%. With the use of technologies and balanced application of chemical pesticides, the honey produced in this area currently responds for 84% of the State’s total production.