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February 21, 2011

Oil Palm Potential New Crop for Mato Grosso and Northern Brazil

State officials in northern Brazil continue to look for alternatives to cattle ranching and soybean production that would also help to relieve pressure on clearing new land for additional crop production. Oil palm production appears to meet many of the criteria for this new crop.

Currently, there is one oil palm plantation in operation in the state of Para. It was established in an area of degraded pastures that was subject to extensive soil erosion. Based the success of the current plantation, researcher's estimate that a producer could expect to generate a profit of R$ 2,000 per month for every 10 hectares of oil palm under production. Researchers and state officials from Mato Grosso have visited the Agro Palma plantation in the state of Para and plan to use it as a model for potential oil palm plantations in northern Mato Grosso.

Scientists feel that northern Mato Grosso would be an ideal location for new palm oil plantations. They feel that at least 200,000 hectares in Mato Grosso could be planted to palm oil in the immediate future and that eventually as much as 6 million hectares in the state could be suitable for oil palm plantations.