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AGRICULTURE IN BRAZIL IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY Research and Text EVARISTO EDUARDO DE MIRANDA

Photograph Pulsar Imagens Presentation Roberto Rodrigues

M E TA L I V R O S S達o Paulo, 2013


EDITORIAL CREDITS © 2013 Metavídeo SP Produção e Comunicação Ltda. (Metalivros) All rights reserved Editorial and Graphic Direction Ronaldo Graça Couto Research and Text Evaristo Eduardo de Miranda Photograph Pulsar Imagens Editorial and Graphic Management Bianka Tomie Ortega Design Dora Levy | Cj.31 Layout João Heleno and Douglas Watanabe | Cj.31 Proofreading Across The Universe Communications English Version Dorothy Sue Dunn Araújo Administrative Secretariat Roberta Vieira Distribution and Sales Celina Marques Scannig, Proofs and Digital Archive Bureau São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil Printing and Binding Ipsis Gráfica, São Paulo, Brazil

Sponsorship


SUMMARY

PRESENTATION, 15 AGRICULTURAL DIVERSITY IN BRAZIL IN THE THIRD MILLENIUM, 19 AUTHOR’S NOTE, 23 THE AGRICULTURES OF BRAZIL, 29 Small farmers and large producers, 30 Dynamism of agriculture, 36 Biodiversity and production, 40 Concentration of production, 42 Income and technology, 47 Sustainability and innovation, 51

FIBERS, 214 Forest cellulose fiber, 216 Cotton, 217 Palm trees, 219 Sisal, 224 Jute and aramina, 226 Wicker work, 227 Ramie, 228 Golden grass, 229 Wool, 229 Silk, 231 The fiber of agriculture, 232

Forest preservation, 53

SPECIAL PRODUCTS, 235

Agricultural and environmental power, 58

Medicinal, aromatic and

FOOD, 63 Grain, 63 Sugar, 92 Tubers, 98 Vegetables, 108 Fruits, 120 Oranges and citrus fruits, 136 Brazil nuts, almonds, peanuts and walnuts, 140 Palms, palm hearts, fruits and oils, 146 Meat, milk, eggs and honey, 153 Aquiculture, 180 AGROENERGY, 184 Sugarcane, 185 Biodiesel, 197

spice plants, 236 Flowers, 242 High-quality grapes and wine, 247 Cachaça, 250 Timber, 254 Tobacco, 258 Rubber, 260 Organic products, 262 Nontransgenic products, 265 Stimulant plants, 266 LIST OF CULTIVATED OR EXPLOITED PLANT SPECIES CITED IN THIS BOOK, 278 REFERENCES, 284 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS, 292

Energy forests, 203 Agricultual residues, 209 Agriculture and energy for the 21st century, 213

AUTHOR’S BIOGRAPHY, 295 PHOTOGRAPH CREDITS, 295


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PRESENTATION

FOR A LONG TIME, PEOPLE HAVE SAID: a strategy is lacking to transform the grasslands of Brazil, once and for all, into the productive potential that is expected worldwide. Public policies that favor agriculture take place sporadically, in spurts, and are not always conjoined. And government measures often inhibit orderly rural development. On the other hand, it is often said that the absence of a solidly based project for the sector is due to the fact that most of the population in Brazil – today, living in urban settings – is not aware of the huge contribution of agriculture and of agrobusiness in the country. And there are a number of reasons for this. As an example, we cite numbers for grain production, a major integrated effort by scientists, extension workers and rural producers that is admired all over the world. In the last 20 years, the area planted to grain increased 37% in Brazil, while production rose 173%. There is magic in these numbers: if productivity per hectare in Brazil today were the same as 20 years ago, the area necessary to reach today’s yields would be an additional 53 million hectares, above and beyond the 51 million hectares planted to grain today. In other words, 53 million hectares have been preserved. This is a fact, not a promise nor a commitment: it is done. And the name for this is sustainability, a topic discussed every day in events all over the world. Beef production, usually pasture-fed, and that of other meats (pork, chicken) based on the same grains is also sustainable. And agroenergy in Brazil is sustainable, based on ethanol (that produces only 11% of the CO2 emitted by gasoline), biodiesel, bioelectricity. Not to mention the alcohol/chemical industry that will arrive in the near future. Plus 7 million hectares of planted forests that are also sustainable. What can be said of our green belts, with their remarkable horticultural activities? Of our fibers that are equally competitive? Very few people are aware of the fact that Brazilian agrobusiness is responsible for 23% of the country’s PIB, generates 37% of its jobs and has a commercial surplus much greater than the total surplus of Brazil, which guarantees exchange reserves and allows the importation of consumer items that are in such great demand by our people. It may very well be true, this absence of public policies, because most of the population do not recognize the importance of the progressive rural areas and their agents – the rural producers – and therefore do not put pressure on the government to support them. In fact, there has been some effort to change this, always aiming to expose these values to urban society. But the results have not been suitable. Perhaps due to inadequate communication that may be somewhat domineering, like “see how important I am”. Perhaps due to excessive humility on the part of leadership. Or perhaps due to a lack of clarity as to the closely linked relationship between rural and urban areas, of the visceral interdependence of rural and urban settings, of the historical background of this huge country based on the dedication of workers from both areas.

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So this clarity has now come to our attention in this book written by researcher Evaristo de Miranda and illustrated by photographer Delfim Martins and others as well as satellite images. Fruit of years of research and countless visits to many different rural settings, Agriculture in Brazil in the 21st Century paints an up-to-date picture of this huge hinterland where men and women of various ethnic origins, with different cultures and distinct edaphic/climatic, technological and land-based backgrounds, come together in a marvelous and successful assemblage of a huge jigsaw puzzle: our farmland. These nameless farmers of all ages struggle day after day, year after year. Their daily toil in constant communion with nature links them to their brothers in the city, whether large or small, who also work ceaselessly in the construction of our great nation. In natural, articulate prose, Evaristo reveals where we are in the rural areas, and what we did to get there. In closing, this is a book to be read and, as the author remarks, “visited� by every Brazilian, wherever he or she may live or work. When going over these pages, we will most certainly feel proud of being Brazilian and enjoy being part of a remarkable people who, through persistence and determination, developed the most important sustainable tropical agriculture on the planet. This work will guide public opinion towards a strategy to help Brazil generate greater well-being for its people and for the rest of the world, based on the competitive production of fantastic rural Brazil.

Roberto Rodrigues Agronomist and rural producer Former Agriculture Minister of Brazil Special FAO Ambassador for the International Year of Cooperativism

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AGRICULTURAL DIVERSITY IN BRAZIL IN THE THIRD MILLENNIUM

AGRICULTURE IN BRAZIL IN THE 21ST CENTURY had its beginnings ten years ago, when we invited Evaristo Eduardo de Miranda to write a book that would be called Agrocultura Brasileira, with photographs by Delfim Martins. Both were already old acquaintances from the Brazilian agriculture sector: the first as a researcher at EMBRAPA and the second as a photographer specializing in this sector. This project would have an historical bias concerning the evolution of six of the main agricultural crops in Brazil. It never came to be, but the two authors kept on researching and photographing nonstop, the primary sector of the Brazilian economy. In these 10 years agricultural activity continued developing, widened its horizons, and this made us turn our attention towards this sector one more time. We changed the scope of the original project and planned an illustrated publication on Brazilian agriculture that would offer a comprehensive perspective, focusing on contemporary production since the turn of the new century. So the proposal of the present work was born, aiming to give the reader an up-to-date publication with state-of-the-art images and an innovative approach to this vast universe. Bayer’s reaction upon receiving our request for support was immediate and energetic. This guarantee of support gave us the intellectual and creative freedom necessary to develop this work, in the form that is now presented to the public. It is a singular creation, free of economic or ideological dirigisme. It attempts to reflect, correctly and in an attractive context, the increasing importance of our agriculture, as much for Brazilians as for most of the world, that consumes our products, every day becoming more technological and scientific. With data and information at least up to 2010, this book shows how and why Brazilian agriculture has today become the most solid sector of the economy, with sustainable growth indices, expanding application of scientific research and development of Brazilian technology involving enormous social and economic diversity of its millions of agents spread across Brazil, with its very special culture. Contemporary Brazilian agriculture is no longer an activity with low aggregate value, and has begun generating a growing variety of products even more sophisticated. It involves the arduous work of a huge anonymous army of small rural producers, and another army of average farmers and great entrepreneurs. Together they sustain industry and services in an ever more forceful and complex manner. This work offers the reader a broad view of a segment that is no longer restricted to producing food for the Brazilian people and to exporting commodities in natura. It provides its own energy as well as that for other areas of the economy. It produces fibers for artistic and industrial use on an upward scale, besides special products of great international value. This book combines two views that are complementary in a well orchestrated manner: one by Miranda, analytical-systemic, and the other, a visual picture put together by Delfim Martins of Pulsar Imagens, complemented by recent satellite images. 19


Miranda researched, put together and cross-referenced thousands of pieces of data available in public and private agencies all over Brazil. He depended on the generous contributions of dozens of specialists and agricultural and scientific institutions and associations. So the result of this work did not depend solely on the authors and publishers, but also on all of the collaborators that participated in this publishing effort that is original for Brazil. For this edition, Pulsar placed at our disposal its vast, magnificent and beautiful photographic collection on the subject, limited to that produced in the first twelve years of the 21st century, mainly involving, and not by chance, the name of photographer Delfim Martins, our constant collaborator who had also been involved in publishing plans ever since the first, more limited project dreamed up originally many years ago. Here we select and reproduce over 200 among thousands of images examined, involving 35 professional photographers. We stress the complex content that was so generously ceded to this initiative by EMBRAPA Gestão Territorial and by Space Imaging Brasil, besides orientation for the selection of the 40 satellite images printed here, composing a contemporary view from space of Brazilian agriculture that the author’s photographs could never achieve. Dora Levy, chosen to lead the design of this edition, transformed it into a true work of art, visually striking and easy to read. Finally, we highly praise the presentation of Roberto Rodrigues, Special Ambassador to FAO (United Nations) for the International Year of Cooperativism. His endorsement of the work fills us with pride and the certainty that we have reached our goal: to give the public a work capable of presenting a global perspective, both contemporary and original, on the most fundamental Brazilian economic activity. Everything that has to do with the subject did not find its way here, but we did paint a picture of a strong, innovative agricultural country, diversified and modern, made by people that should be very proud of themselves and the final result of their work.

Ronaldo Graça Couto Metalivros

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AUTHOR’S NOTE

THE PEOPLE OF URBAN AREAS SEE BRAZILIAN agriculture as something far removed from the cities. In geographic terms, it is part of the Brazilian hinterland, in rural areas, far from the cities. This classic view must be forgotten. The differences between cities and rural areas have diminished greatly. Modern Brazilians live in the country. Farmers live in the city and work in the country. The rural area is industrialized. Small producers, linked to information networks, use state-of-the-art technology to reach professional levels. This book shows these connections; they are closely linked and permanent. Agriculture is present in the daily life of cities, from the tires of automobiles that run on ethanol to the paper of books and printers, and include clothes, medicine, cosmetics and food. Good, varied and cheap. To reveal the totality of Brazilian agriculture would require an encyclopedia. To present it in a single book implies selection, summarization and synthesis of information. We gave preference to global instead of total. Content was built upon a technical basis, but whenever possible, scientific terminology was not used and essential, unprecedented aspects were dealt with in many topics, in order to offer a global view of Brazilian agriculture. This work is geared primarily to the general public, unfamiliar with the rural scene and the dynamics of today. When it was not possible to avoid presenting concepts and processes, indispensable explanations were added. To understand Brazilian agriculture, it is not enough to show record production numbers that are always on the rise. To foster ideas such as “the world’s largest exporter” of this or that, in the long run, conceals the evolution of production, the impacts and sustainability. It is more important to understand how production is carried out in Brazil than to know how much is produced. It is necessary to comprehend the enormous evolution of agricultural technology in the country, thanks to innovation and entrepreneurism of agriculturists and their organizations. And also, to know how all of this fits into historical processes and the cultural roots of Brazil. Two government ministries deal with agriculture in Brazil. The Ministry of Agrarian Development focuses on family agriculture in extractivist communities that have limited access to the land. The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply deals with farm issues as well as basic production chains of supply and exportation. The boundaries between the two ministries are not all that rigid. There is positive synergy between the two. This political and institutional solution is very interesting. It rarely occurs in other countries. For an up-to-date perspective on Brazilian agriculture, an appeal was made to both ministries as well as multiple sources of primary information. The main sources were census records from the Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística (IBGE). Many producer associations, research and development institutions, and specialists gave suggestions and provided valuable data from several areas of agricultural activity. All are listed in the acknowledgments. 23


In this work, the year 2010 was established as a reference. Sometimes data from 2011 or 2012 was used. In other cases, the data extend only to 2008 or 2009. Using various sources of available institutional data, we attempted to present the most reliable and up-to-date information. For clarity, numbers were always rounded off. They often express averages (triennial) and orders of magnitude, given the inter-annual fluctuation of agricultural production. Given the impossibility of being accurate as to agricultural magnitude, we used approximation whenever possible. Different institutions use different methods, time-periods and techniques to measure the same phenomenon. The Companhia Nacional de Abastecimento (CONAB), for example, uses the agricultural year for evaluating production, while IBGE and FAO work with the calendar year. An attempt was made to provide compatible information by using technical considerations of the methods used. Some cultivated plants provide food, energy and fibers and can be classified as special products. Sugarcane, for example, is included in four categories: it provides food (sugar), energy (ethanol), fibers (bagasse) and is the basis for a special product (cachaรงa). So in this book, a crop may be presented by only one of its dominant characteristics or it may be mentioned more than once, under different headings, when pertinent. At the end of the book, a list of over 480 cultivated or exploited plant species is given, with scientific names and synonyms. The list does not include ornamental plants nor most medicinal and forest species.

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The importance of Brazilian agriculture is not only in the production of food, energy, fibers and various special products, high in quality, competitive, and at lower prices. Besides generating foreign exchange credits and maintaining Brazil’s balance of payment in equilibrium, it is the birthplace of true cultural treasures, trademarks of the profound identity of the Brazilian people. Cooking, handicrafts, musical styles and traditions, religious festivals, pilgrimages, tourism, food habits, rural festivals and county fairs are among the fruits of rural labor cited throughout the book. While this text is being read, men and women are in the fields, dealing with the land, taking care of the environment, livestock, greenhouses, machine maintenance, accounts, birthing mares, protecting the hay from the rain, helping a neighbor or playing country music with a friend or two beside a wood stove, having a shot of cachaça or some delicious coffee. Do not read this book. Visit it. As one would visit a friend’s farm, the family ranch, a grandfather’s mansion. Go ahead. As one who goes on foot or on horseback. Do not be afraid of the numbers and multitude of themes. At the front gate there is a message of welcome. Keep calm. The entrance arch has a wooden plaque engraved with the name of this piece of land, worked on and blessed, called Brazil.

Evaristo Eduardo de Miranda Researcher, EMBRAPA

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A G R I C U LT U R E I N B R A Z I L I N T H E T W E N T Y - F I R S T C E N T U R Y

THE AGRICULTURES OF BRAZIL

THE WORLD´S POPULATION HAS NEVER BEEN SO large, nor have the people lived so long. Never has so much food been produced, or consumed. The population, longevity, income and food consumption grow and the challenge is to feed an additional two billion people or more in next the 40 years. To take care of this demand for food, the world is counting on current and future production of Brazilian agriculture. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) together with several other worldwide forums proclaim this expectation, rather like an ultimatum. Europe and China are already increasing their dependence on Brazil’s agricultural production. Today, Brazil’s entire food production of plant and animal origin is enough to take care of not only the basic necessity of feeding Brazilians, but of feeding one billion people. This is not a trifle. But it is not enough when faced with the challenge of worldwide demand. The leadership of Brazilian agriculture will not only be the result of high production but also of profitability and competitiveness. It is not enough to merely produce. It is necessary to be competitive in price and quality. And this competitiveness will be the result of more efficient, sustainable and diversified production systems. Brazilian agriculture is pluralistic. It is made up of many “agricultures”, differentiated by historical processes, geographic location, production systems, socio-economic and agrarian circumstances, and by the origins and traditions of the rural producers. The main source of global information on agriculture are the Censos Agropecuários (Farm Census) carried out by the Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística (IBGE). The methods and results of this Census are in accord with the recommendations and basic concepts sanctioned by FAO. This permits an international comparison of these statistics. The IBGE Census measures the extent of and characterizes Brazilian agriculture. The magnitude of agriculture. The 2006 Farm Census identified 5,175,489 farms in Brazil. The total area for farming, equal to the sum of the areas of all properties, is not expanding. It is diminishing. In 1985, it was around 375 million hectares. In 1995, the area shrank to 354 million hectares and in 2006 to 330 million hectares. Agriculture is not eating up new natural areas as many may think. Occasional expansions were more than compensated for by retractions in other regions.

pp. 26-27 Contours in a rice field, Mata, Rio Grande do Sul, 2008 p. 28 Small farms with diversified annual crops, Anita Garibaldi, Santa Catarina, 10/Apr/2010 (Satellite GeoEye-1, Latitude -27°70’, Longitude -50°94’)

According to IBGE, the main reason for this retraction in total area occupied by agriculture was the creation of conservation units (federal and state) and demarcation of native lands. From 1996 to 2006 alone, the creation of protected areas covered around 61 million hectares and the reduction of agricultural areas, 23.7 million hectares. The retraction of agriculture has been approximately two million hectares annually in the last 20 years. This occupied area should not be confused with cultivated area that is much smaller, around 109 million hectares. Farmers work only part of their property for a number of reasons: some sections are not usable, others require investment and resources that are not available. Some areas with natural vegetation, such as campos nativos, caatingas and cerrados are used for pastureland. And are not deforested. Other areas with natural vegetation are preserved based on environmental legislation, especially in the North and Central-West regions, or kept as a reserve for future expansion.

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A G R I C U LT U R E I N B R A Z I L I N T H E T W E N T Y - F I R S T C E N T U R Y

SMALL FARMERS AND LARGE PRODUCERS THE AVERAGE SIZE OF THE BRAZILIAN FARM shrank in one decade from 73 hectares in 1995 to 64 hectares in 2006. But the GINI index, used to measure concentration of land distribution, was still 0.872 in 2006. This figure indicates a large amount of land concentrated in the hands of a few farmers. It is not the number of hectares, whether 20 or 50, that define a small farm in Brazil. Classification of the size of a rural property varies depending on the region. It is necessary to take into account various factors, such as soil and climate. In temperate or subtropical regions of the country, the land is more productive. In the semiarid region and on many soils in the Amazon, the land is less productive. To manage this diversity of conditions, agricultural and agrarian politics in Brazil use the concept of Fiscal Module for each municipality. The Fiscal Module (FM) is the minimum area of a rural property that makes it economically viable. This unit, expressed in hectares, is established by the Instituto Nacional de Colonização e Reforma Agrária (INCRA) of the Ministério do Desenvolvimento Agrário (MDA) for each municipality. It provides a parameter for the classification of the farm, according to its dimensions. A small farm is one with an area of 1 to 4 FMs; a medium-sized farm has an area of 4 and 15 FMs. Above this value are the big farms. Depending on the location and characteristics of the municipality, an FM may vary from 5 to 110 hectares. According to data from EMBRAPA Gestão Territorial, based on data from INCRA and IBGE, there are 4.6 million small landholdings, that is, 88% of the farms in Brazil. They occupy 95 million hectares (29% of the agricultural area). And produce 50.3% of the domestic production value, around R$ 73 billion, according to the 2006 Farm Census. Medium-sized properties (233,000) are 5% of the total and occupy 20% of the land (67 million hectares). Large farms make up around 7% of the total (348,000) and occupy 51% of the land (168 million hectares). Furthermore, according to IBGE, 39% of those responsible for the farms were illiterate or knew how to read and write without ever having been to school, and 43% did not finish primary school. The greatest amount of illiteracy is in the North and Northeast regions. Women are responsible for about 13% of the farms. One of the strong points of small farms and farm hands are the associations, unions and cooperatives. Cooperatives. According to data from the Organização das Cooperativas do Brasil (OCB), in 2010, there were 1,523 farming cooperatives that brought together 970,000 members of which 776,000 were small farmers, over 17% of the total. And they directly employed 156,000 people. Almost 80% of the members are small landowners. All of the cooperatives in Brazil bring together 10 million members, a number that should reach 23 million in 2030. In 2011, the farming cooperatives in Brazil exported altogether over US$ 6.1 billion to 96 countries, the main ones being the United States and China (each country receiving 12% of total exports), the Arab Emirates (9%), Germany (7%) and the Netherlands (5%). The Human Development Index (HDI) in Brazil is higher in municipalities with cooperatives. The main products exported by cooperatives in 2011 were sugar and ethanol. Small and medium producers supply sugarcane for the sugar-alcohol complex. Sugar and ethanol from the cooperatives represented 37% of total domestic exports of these products, a sum of US$ 2.2 billion. 30


A G R I C U LT U R E I N B R A Z I L I N T H E T W E N T Y - F I R S T C E N T U R Y

In second place, soybeans from the cooperatives contributed US$ 1.3 billion, 21% of the total amount exported. Small farmers contribute considerably to soybean exports, especially in the South. The cooperatives exported US$ 893 million in coffee, 14% of the exports of this product, another segment where the participation of small farmers is significant. Then comes the meat of domestic fowls, US$ 570 million, 9% of the total amount exported. The state of São Paulo assumed the leadership in exports of farming cooperatives in 2011, for a total of US$ 2.1 billion (33.7%). Paraná was in second place, with US$ 1.9 billion (31.3%). In third was Minas Gerais with US$ 886 million (14.3%), followed by Rio Grande do Sul with US$ 364 million (6%) and Santa Catarina with US$ 313 million (5.1%). Unionism. The Confederação Nacional dos Trabalhadores na Agricultura (CONTAG) has been in existence for 50 years. It is another manifestation of the organization and defense of farm families, those of agrarian reform, salaried rural workers, share-croppers, “comodatários”, extractivists, “quilombolas”, traditional fishermen and river people. Currently, 27 rural-workers’ federations (FETAGs) in the states and over 4,000 workers’ unions constitute CONTAG. The Movimento Sindical de Trabalhadores e Trabalhadoras Rurais union fights for the rights of over 15.7 million male and female field-hands and forest workers.

p. 31 Treze Tílias, Santa Catarina, 2012 p. 32 Landless settlers, Guarapuava, Paraná, 2012

The Confederação da Agricultura e Pecuária do Brasil (CNA) is the entity that represents the employers’ union in Brazil’s rural sector. Rural employer unionism is not linked to the government and represents the concerns of farmers to society and the government. In the states and municipalities, representation is the responsibility of the rural federations and farmers’ unions. CNA presides over the Conselho Superior de Agricultura e Pecuária do Brasil (Rural Brasil), made up of the Organização das Cooperativas Brasileira (OCB), Sociedade Rural Brasileira (SRB) 31


A G R I C U LT U R E I N B R A Z I L I N T H E T W E N T Y - F I R S T C E N T U R Y

and other national sectorial associations. This entity also coordinates the Fórum Permanente de Negociações Agrícolas Internacionais, made up of OCB and Associação Brasileira do Agronegócio (ABAG). CNA works to bring together these organizations as the Federação das Associações dos Plantadores de Cana do Brasil (FEPLANA), Conselho Nacional de Pecuária de Corte (CNPC) and Sociedade Nacional da Agricultura (SNA). Production Infrastruture. Rural infrastructure still lacks many things in Brazil. As ABAG has pointed out, timid investment in transportation in the past few decades has been insufficient to supply the necessary support for agrobusiness, mainly in the interior of Brazil. Only 5% of the grain harvest is transported by water routes, while 67% is over roads. Roads account for around 70% of the total transported in the country, in contrast to other countries, such as the United States (26%) and China (8%). In seaports, there are two critical issues: access to terminals and high operating costs. Efficient logistics are imperative for rapid, sustainable development. The government intends to invest R$ 133 billion in the next few years in reform and construction of highways and railroads. In 2006, 32% of farmlands did not have access to electricity, but rural electrification is still expanding. Only 6.3% of farms were irrigated. Total irrigated area was 4.5 million hectares. Only 10% of the farms had at least one tractor. The use of motorized mechanical energy was observed on over 30% of the farms, thanks to the ample market of contracted and rented farm machinery in Brazil. Even so, animal- or man-power is used on 70% of the farms. There is a huge potential to expand mechanization on small farms, with industrial production of appropriate tools as certified by the Associação Brasileira da Indústria de Máquinas e Equipamentos (ABIMAQ).

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AGRICULTURE AND THE TRADE BALANCE

100 Other Sectors 80

Agrobusiness Brazil’s Trade Balance

40 20

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

0 2000

US$ Billion

60

-20 -40 - 60

Source: SECEX/MDIC

Growth. Brazilian agriculture keeps on growing, contrary to other sectors of the economy. In 2011, farming was the sector that expanded most in Brazil (3.9%), compared to 1.6% for industry and 2.7% for services. Brazil’s surplus was US$ 29.8 billion, thanks to the farming sector, with total exports over US$ 77 billion. Farming is the main source of prosperity in widespread areas of Brazil. And it explains the leadership of the Central-West region in domestic economic growth, with expansion of 5.9% in 12 months from May 2011 to May 2012. Food. In 1972, the grain harvest was 30 million tons for a planted area of 28 million hectares. Today, the planted area is around 50 million hectares and production exceeded 166 million tons. The cultivated area grew 80% and production more than 500%. In 40 years, grain production in Brazil increased fivefold, plus the production of tubers, fruits and vegetables. The country with the largest commercial bovine herd, Brazil is a great producer of swine, poultry, eggs, milk and milk products. It is enough food to nourish over a billion people each year. Agroenergy. Besides food, agriculture also produces energy. Brazil has one of the cleanest energy matrices in the world, thanks to agriculture. Over 30% of the country’s energy, 68.3 million tons of equivalent petroleum (TEP) are from agriculture. It produces solid fuel (firewood and coal), liquid fuel (ethanol and biodiesel), gaseous fuel (biogas) and electricity (cogeneration of electric energy). With technology, agriculture consumes only 4.5% of fossil energy in the energy matrix and produces over 30% of renewable energy. Fibers. Producer of food and agroenergy, agriculture also plays an important role in a diversified production of plant and animal fibers. In 2010, 14 million tons of cellulose fiber and 9.9 million tons of paper were produced. The country became the third largest worldwide exporter of cotton. Fibers from the shell of the coconut, from piassava palm, sisal, aramina, etc. are used today to make furniture and vehicles, for civil construction and diverse industrial uses. 33


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Special products. Besides food, agroenergy and fibers, Brazilian agriculture, with its geographic and economic diversity, produces an entire range of different products. Many of these have diverse certifications (organic, origin and geographic indication, etc.), such as wines, flowers, perfumes, medicines, rubber, “cachaça”, timber, coffee, and others. Brazilian agriculture still faces many challenges: lack of a true system of rural insurance; the critical situation of infrastructure, especially as an outlet for production; requirements of worker and environmental legislation, out of tune with rural reality; protectionism and agricultural subsidies of developed countries, and difficulty of articulation and effective defense of interests, as well as its image, before the urban world, in Brazil and overseas. In the immense and diversified rural space of Brazil, some characteristics, difficult to be found in one country, are essential to understanding Brazilian agriculture: dynamics; biodiversity; concentration of production and income; sustainability and innovation; environmental preservation and cultural identity, agroculture. 34

p. 34 Barge loaded with soybeans upriver from the dam of the Bariri Hydroelectric Plant, Rio Tietê, São Paulo, 2010 p. 35 above Mechanized soybean harvest, Itiquira, Mato Grosso, 2001 p. 35 below Sacks of coffee, 2007


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DYNAMISM OF AGRICULTURE IF SOMEBODY SAYS THAT HE UNDERSTANDS, IS up-to-date, and well informed on the subject of Brazilian agriculture, it is because he finished studying it last night. Late. If he finished the study last week, it would be outdated already. The reason is simple: the extremely dynamic nature of agriculture. In 40 years, as the planted area doubled, the incorporation of tropical farming technology in the production process increased grain production more than five times over. This gain in productivity, this “vertical” growth of production, and not only in horizontal breadth of areas, prevented the deforestation of 100 million hectares of forests and cerrados. In 30 years, Brazil no longer held the position of food importer and assumed the position of fourth largest exporter worldwide. Grain production, in 2012, was 166 million tons: half grain (maize, rice, wheat, barley, sorghum, etc.) and half legumes and oleaginous species (soybeans, beans, peanuts, sunflowers, etc). The country produces great amounts of other foods such as cassava, potatoes, vegetables, greens and fruits (75% of the concentrated orange juice exported worldwide). It is a huge producer of beef (30 million/slaughters/year), pork (35 million/ slaughters/

p. 37 Silos for drying and storing rice, Quaraí, Rio Grande do Sul, 2010

GRAINS, LEGUMES AND OLEAGINOUS PLANTS AREA AND PRODUCTION – BRAZIL (1980 TO 2012)

180,000,000 160,000,000 140,000,000

Production (t)

120,000,000 100,000,000 80,000,000 60,000,000 Area (ha)

40,000,000 20,000,000

Source: CONAB

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

1998

1997

1996

1995

1994

1993

1992

1991

1990

1989

1988

1987

1986

1985

1984

1983

1982

1981

36

1980

0


A G R I C U LT U R E I N B R A Z I L I N T H E T W E N T Y - F I R S T C E N T U R Y

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A G R I C U LT U R E I N B R A Z I L I N T H E T W E N T Y - F I R S T C E N T U R Y

BASIC FOODS REAL PRICE EVOLUTION

100 90 80 70 60 50

2011

Source: DIEESE, index values by IGP-DI. Adapted from Martha Jr., 2012

year), of poultry (5.5 billion/slaughters/year), milk (31 billion liters/year) and eggs (2.5 billion dozens/year). In 10 years, Brazil went from one of world’s greatest importers of cotton to the third largest exporter of this product and first in productivity, thanks to technological innovation, biotechnology and the incorporation of new management techniques. The success of farming led to a decline of over 50% in the price of basic foods from 1975 to 2005. The reduction in food prices was so great that, in the 1990s, that it changed the composition of inflation indices, given the reduction of food prices in the family budget. In 2011, the Gross Internal Product (GIP) of agrobusiness grew 5.73% and totalled R$ 942 billion, after inflation. The Brazilian economy expanded 2.7% and reached R$ 4,143 trillion. The participation of agrobusiness in domestic GIP increased from 21.8% in 2010 to 22.7% in 2011. In two years, growth of agricultural GIP increased 13.5%. The agricultural trade surplus increased 574% from 1992 to 2011. It was positive from 1995 to 2000, when most commerce showed a deficit. Total exports increased 615% during that period. Without the positive figures of agriculture, the balance of the trade would have been negative. In 2012, the exportation record of agrobusiness was beaten: over US$ 100 billion. Besides growth and temporal dynamics, there is huge diversity and spatial complexity in Brazilian agriculture. It is made up of numerous rural and agrarian territories, with very different human, social, economic and historical realities.

38

p. 39 “Açai” market, Mercado Ver-o-Peso, Belém, Pará, 2008

jun 2012

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

1998

1997

1996

1995

1994

1993

1992

1991

1990

1989

1988

1987

1986

1985

1984

1983

1982

1981

1980

1979

1978

1977

1976

40 1975

Basic Foods Price Index (1975 = 100)

110


A G R I C U LT U R E I N B R A Z I L I N T H E T W E N T Y - F I R S T C E N T U R Y

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A G R I C U LT U R E I N B R A Z I L I N T H E T W E N T Y - F I R S T C E N T U R Y

BIODIVERSITY AND PRODUCTION IN THIS BOOK, 488 PLANTS ARE CITED that are grown or exploited by farmers in Brazil. In the letter A (in Portuguese), there are 70 plant species such as: avocado, pineapple, pumpkin, safflower, “açaí”, acerola, watercress, artichoke, rosemary, lettuce, cotton, “almeirão”, plums, almonds, mulberry, anise, anthurium, “araça”, rice, oats and others. Where did so much agricultural biodiversity come from? In the beginning it was not like this. For the discoverers of Brazil, in the Land of Santa Cruz there seemed to be no agriculture, nor cattle. In his priceless letter, Pero Vaz de Caminha pointed out that the Indians “do not plant, nor do they raise animals, there are no oxen, nor cattle, nor goats, nor sheep, nor chickens, nor any other animal used to living with men”. To take care of the basic necessities of food, health and clothing, the Portuguese introduced, acclimatized and tested in Brazil, everything that they missed or thought to be of possible interest. Europe, Asia and Africa contributed to the construction of a new Brazilian landscape, through animal and plant species, acclimatized on the islands of the Atlantic, and introduced in Brazil by the Portuguese. A century and a half after the discovery, in the fields and gardens of villages and towns, native plants (such as cassava, yam and sweet potato) and many greens, flowers, fruit trees, grains, legumes, fibers and medicinal plants, from all over the planet, grew side by side. Success of the exotic. The reason for the success of these species introductions was of an ecological nature. It was new land, sown with new species, carried to another continent without major pests and diseases, usually as seeds. The new crops, in spite of low genetic diversity due to the small number of individuals originally, grew better in Brazil than in their native land.

p. 40 Sunflower, Poço Redondo, Sergipe, 2010 p. 41 Pampas deer in a soybean field, Mineiros, Goiás, 2002

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Agriculture in Brazil in the 21st Century