Brazil's company Ceitec Semiconductor Solutions, connected to the Ministry of Science and Technology, presented last week the first 100% Brazilian chip for beef tracking.
According to the ministry, the device was developed by the Ceitec with the support of the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) and it should consolidate Brazil as the main global exporter of beef. This year, the country had the product barred by the European Union 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 contribute for credibility and competitiveness of the Brazilian product to rise, also increasing exports.
The ministry also estimates that up to early next year the first chips should already be on the market. This is the first device in a whole line of products for animal tracking, called ATD (Animal Tracking Device).
Later, chips should also be developed 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.