Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Brazil - An Agricultural Powerhouse

Brazil's agriculture commodities in world markets
In additions to its now well known oil discoveries, many may not realize that Brazil is also an agricultural powerhouse as well.  In the middle of the 1980s, Brazil was actually a net food importer, but within less then 20 years the country grew into a huge exporter of agricultural commodities and Brazil became a key component in international food security/  Today, modern Brazil leads the world in the production of a variety of agricultural commodities from corn to soybeans.  

What is interesting is that Brazil became an agricultural powerhouse not through government subsidies or import quotas, but by enthusiastically applying modern scientific techniques and processes across its entire agricultural sector starting in the mid-1980s.  Brazil's farms are also massive in size, and enjoy tremendous benefits in scale.  In that regard, Brazil's entire farming and agriculture industry has been designed to supply massive amounts of food to world markets.  

Finally, while there has certainly been some negative affect upon the precious Amazon from Brazil's agricultural development, the vast majority of the country's agricultural revolution has taken place in the flatlands of the cerrado, hundreds of miles away from the Amazon.

For those interested in reading a good overview of the Brazilian agricultural miracle, here is an excellent summary article from the Economist.

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