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Minister Roberto Rodrigues’ alert makes sense. From merely playing a supporting role, Brazil became the greatest global export of bovine beef, overturning Australia (the leader until then) and the United States (a power in any business) at the same time. Even Argentina, which had always led the commercialization of red meat in the Latin American continent, saw their supremacy supplanted. Brazilian specialists have a very good explanation for the national cattle breeding boom. “It was the solid investment in genetic improvement, animal nutrition, handling and professional management unleashed especially in the 80s, when the country was invaded by dozens of bovine breeds producing quality beef, among which are highlight the Angus and Simmental. Even in the 90s, the arrival in Brazil of the Brahman breed, of zebu origin, has added much to the Nelore, an unmatched genetic option in quantity”, argues professor Pedro Eduardo de Felício, specialist in bovine beef from Unicamp. Because of this rapid and explosive growth, it is normal that Brazilian cattle breeding gains enemies. “Many times Brazil was accused of deforesting the Amazon, using slave labor and damaging the environment to increase the bovine population. This is not true. Brazilian cattle breeding grows in a sustainable manner. The laws of environmental protection are clear and rigid and it is in the Cerrado – and

not the Amazon – that the activity advances”, explains minister Roberto Rodrigues. “For those who do not know Brazil, a giant of 8.5 million km 2, it is difficult to imagine the distance of the Cerrados to the Amazon Forest is equivalent to the territorial dimensions of many European countries”. Brazil uses around 47 million of hectares for agricultural production and has around 110 million hectares of native pastures, mainly. The current herd is around 200 million heads and around 70% is in the Cerrados, concentrated in the central region of the country. “We can double the area of livestock and agriculture without invading the sacred territory of the Amazon Rainforest”, affirms Roberto Rodrigues. Another statistic is even more clarifying: there is in Brazil around 5 million rural properties and cattle breeding is present, in greater or less force, in 80% of them. The data is from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE). Therefore it should come as no surprise that Brazil is responsible for 8.5 million tons of bovine beef/year, 9 million tons of chicken meat, 3 million tons of pork meat, 1, 3 billion dozens of bird eggs and 25 billion liters of milk. “We are an agricultural power”, Minister Fernando Furlan tirelessly repeats, of Development, Industry and Commerce. “And we are not even using our entire arsenal of production”. Casa Branca Press 2 3

Casa Branca PRESS 03  

Junho de 2006 / ano 2 - número 03

Casa Branca PRESS 03  

Junho de 2006 / ano 2 - número 03

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