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Thursday 21 October 2010

Patricia Covarrubia

Don't lose your cattle, chip it!

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In 2008 the Centre of Excellence in Advanced Electronics Technology (Ceitec) developed the first high-tech chip entirely produced in Brazil for cattle. The reason: according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply, Brazil has about 200 million head of cattle - it is the largest exporter of beef, with figures exceeding $ 2 billion per year. The chip will help farmers to monitor their animals more precisely, which will facilitate to open markets such as the European Union. The monitoring includes: a comprehensive screening of the cattle with data on vaccination, weighing, origins and management among others. At the moment this is mostly done manually which is time consuming and impractical, and moreover the system gives rise to errors. Also, the screening with imported technology requires investment and is not used widely in Brazil.

Ceitec, was launched in 2008. It is a public company allied to the Ministry of Science and Technology. Its primary goal is the development of the Brazilian electronics industry through the semiconductor industry.

In 2009, Ceitec explained that "any chip developed and produced by Ceitec brings two great benefits to Brazil, the first one is the intellectual property: whoever wants to produce these chips will pay royalties to Ceitec (a public institution), generating wealth for the country. The second is that consolidating a national chip industry will allow the electronics industry to mature in Brazil."

Today I read that the chip is expected to be commercialized in 2011, and is still being tested on farms. It is said that “despite using the latest technology, the system is simple.” The cattle chip will have an average price of $ 3 a unit, less than half the value of similar imported technologies.

I do not have anything to say but just good wishes with the product and with the export market. And...obviously as a mother I wonder if this will help to monitor my kids!

Patricia Covarrubia

Patricia Covarrubia