Brazil launches its first cattle tracking chip
The new equipment was developed entirely in Brazil by Ceitec Semiconductor Solutions, which is connected to the Ministry of Science and Technology.
According to the company, their product is cheaper than imported versions and they believe it may help expand beef exports from the country.
The device was developed with the support of the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES).
Brazilian beef exports were barred by the EU earlier this year due to problems in the tracking system.
Electronic identification makes it possible to collect genetic, husbandry and sanitary information for each animal, from its date of birth to slaughter. The national chip should be much cheaper for farmers, as it will eliminate the need for payment of royalties.
Figures by the Ministry of Agriculture show that there are approximately 210 million heads of cattle in the country, the largest herd in the world. Sector exports reached US$ 3.5 billion from January to August this year, according to the Brazilian Beef Industry and Exporters Association. The new technology may raise the competitiveness of the Brazilian product and thus increase exports.
The ministry also estimates the first chips should be on the market early next year. This is the first device in a whole line of products for animal tracking, called ATD (Animal Tracking Device). Efforts are underway to develop chips for the pork and chicken production chains. The production capacity at the Ceitec, in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, is 1 million chips a year.