The National Technical Biosafety Commission (CTNBio) published on Monday, 17, the release of the second genetically modified sugarcane variety developed by the Sugarcane Technology Center (CTC). CTC9001BT is derived from CTC9001, one of the most cultivated in the country, and has insect resistance. According to the CTC, the variety should act mainly in the control of Diarrhea spp, popularly known as the sugarcane borer.
Considered to be the main plague of sugarcane plantations, the drill brings estimated losses of R $5 billion to the crop in Brazil per year, and a fall in agricultural and industrial productivity, sugar quality and high insecticide costs. The first transgenic variety from the research center, the CTC20BT, also resistant to insects, was released in June 2017 by CTNBio. After authorization for planting, the varieties need to be multiplied with the production of seedlings in commercial scale, a process that takes about three years and is done by the producers.
According to Viler Janeiro, CTC’s Corporate Affairs director, in the 2017/2018 harvest, about 60 mills in the Center-South region of Brazil planted approximately 400 hectares of the CTC20BT variety. “Due to the great demand and the fact that we have not been able to serve all our customers, we are in the harvest season (2018/2019), supplementing the initial launch volume. We have received very positive reports regarding the control of the sugarcane borer with the Bt variety, with gains in productivity and reduced cost of control, “the executive said.