Brazil's first protected sesame cultivar is from Embrapa
02 December 2019

The first protected sesame cultivar in Brazil is from Embrapa. BRS Morena was developed by Embrapa Cotton's team and should serve large producers in the Midwest, where the culture has expanded in recent years, especially in Mato Grosso. The cultivar is expected to hit the market by 2020. About three years ago, by identifying the expansion of the sesame crop to the Midwest, Embrapa Cotton's genetic improvement team began the development of BRS Morena. The protection protects the Company's rights to cultivate and allows greater control over the seeds that will be produced and the maintenance of Embrapa's role, ”says researcher Nair Arriel, responsible for the development of the cultivar.

The protection is justified by the possibility of holding the exclusive rights of exploitation. The cultivars existing in the Brazilian market are public domain or introduced, because the sesame crop was regionalized and restricted to small producers in the Northeast, explains the asset manager of Embrapa's Department of Innovation and Business, Aline Zacharias. The prospect of expanding cultivation and market area has made it convenient and timely to obtain protection rights. Royalties from the commercial exploitation of the cultivar may be returned to the research, even indirectly. The idea is to promote Embrapa's competitive insertion in the innovation environment for the benefit of Brazilian society.

BRS Morena has as its main attraction the reddish brown film, appreciated in several world markets, and will be directed to the gourmet market. According to researcher Nair Arriel, the cultivar has high grain yield and oil content above 50%. Although 90% of the Brazilian bakery and oil market adopts white-colored seeds, the gourmet consumer segment is interested in darker-colored ones, such as BRS Morena. “For some segments, it brings a flavor differential. In the Arab market, for example, they like tahini made of darker seeds, ”he says. Embrapa Cotton works in prospecting producers to multiply the seeds and develop market for the novelty. The cultivar will be presented to growers and buyers during this week's seminar in Canarana, Mato Grosso, the largest national sesame producer.

Regarding productivity, BRS Morena is in the middle ground between BRS Anahí, much sought after for allowing mechanical harvesting, and BRS Seda, which is sweeter. “BRS Seda is quite branched and has white seeds, while BRS Anahí is not branched but has much larger seeds. In BRS Morena the branching is intermediate and the oil content is also close to the last two cultivars released ”, compares. Seminar The 1st Sesame Seminar will be held on Friday 6, in the City Council of Canarana, with the objective of discussing the challenges of culture, expanding in the state of Mato Grosso. The event should bring together producers, exporters, researchers, technicians and industry authorities. The program will feature lectures by Embrapa researchers and experts on large-scale production.

Canarana alone accounts for more than 80% of national sesame production, with a planted area of 50,000 hectares in this season, according to farmers' estimates. The crop has been gaining ground as a second crop, after soybean cultivation, because it has low water requirements and is easy to handle. he Secretary of Agriculture, Charles Visconti, reports that with each crop the crop has been taking the space of corn in the municipality, which claims the title of national capital of sesame. “Our production has doubled in the last season and, with everyone's partnership, this crop only tends to grow even more,” he says. For the researcher, the event will provide a technical discussion of the large-scale sesame production system. “Until then, research was focused on growing in small areas. Now research is facing new challenges for culture, ”saysArriel.