Although Brazil does not appear, on the international stage, as a country in the developed world, it can be considered so when the evaluated aspect is agricultural production.
In increasingly broad areas of the territory, Brazilian agriculture reaches extremely high standards of profitability and productivity, competing with agricultural areas located in developed nations.
According to recipesinthebox, the agribusiness controls the organization of the productive space. Vast investments in technology (precision agriculture) and research have made it possible to make the most efficient and productive use of the space, generating high profitability and production and placing some Brazilian agricultural commodities in the world spotlight.
It should be noted, however, that there are still, on a large scale in the country, areas of very low or no capital investment, resulting in low levels of productivity, which accentuates the contradiction present in national agricultural production.
Brazilian livestock production
40 years ago, the cattle stayed in the pasture for up to six years to reach the slaughter weight. In 2016, 24 months or less were enough. Brazilian beef production in 1970 was 20 kilos per hectare per year; in 2000, this figure rose to 34 kilos.
Currently, Brazil has the second largest commercial cattle herd on the planet, corresponding to 23% of the world total and is the second largest producer of beef, with 9.3 million tons of carcass equivalent produced at low production cost, making it become the most competitive country at the international level. (2016 data – USDA / FAO)
Figures like these reveal the advances in agricultural research in the sector, leaving Brazil in a comfortable position for productivity and product quality. Our “green ox”, of vegetarian diet, was consecrated as the best for human consumption, free from evils such as Mad Cow Disease and foot-and-mouth disease – which has already reached countries in South America, Europe and Japan.
In livestock, the contribution of this sector has been crucial for the success of the plan to stabilize the economy and for improving the dietary patterns of the poorest sections of the population, in terms of the consumption of animal protein. In previous stabilization plans, the lack of meat on supermarket shelves was the most obvious cause of the popular failure of these plans.
The poultry sector, due to the stability in the supply of chicken meat and eggs and the maintenance of prices, even with the impact of the rapid growth in demand (due to the elimination of the inflationary tax), was a key element for the success of the Plan Real.
This did not happen for nothing. Closely linked to the expansion of grain production, the development of poultry farming can be considered as the synthesis and symbol of the growth and modernization of agribusiness in Brazil.
Poultry activity brings together in its functional structure the three most important elements in the economic calculation of capitalism in its current configuration: cutting-edge technology, efficiency in production and diversification in consumption.
Brazilian Agricultural Production
The remarkable growth in grain production (mainly from soybeans) was the driving force in the process of transforming Brazilian agribusiness and its dynamic effects were soon felt throughout the economy. Initially, an immense industrial park was created for the extraction of oil and bran from soybeans and other grains.
The availability of a large quantity of soybean and corn bran allowed the development of a modern and sophisticated structure for the production of pigs, poultry and milk, as well as the installation of large slaughterhouses and factories for their industrialization.
An efficient system for supplying modern inputs (fertilizers, pesticides, agricultural machinery, etc.) and a distribution network that includes everything from large supermarket chains to small local retailers have also been created.
Initially based on the expansion of the planted area, mainly in the border regions, from the nineties onwards, the growth of production, on a competitive basis, started to depend more and more on the adoption of new technologies in the production process.
The agricultural policy since 1995 was to combine, in an efficient manner, the use of economic instruments such as rural credit and programs to support commercialization with structural instruments such as agricultural research.
Official rural credit has been reformulated to encourage greater participation by the private sector. Previous debts were securitized and the governmental structure to support commercialization has undergone profound changes with the creation of more modern and less interventionist instruments.
In agricultural research, several measures were adopted to make it more in tune with the market and therefore more objective in terms of areas to be researched and products to be developed.
Embrapa is promoting the formation of consortia of the clothing and handicraft industries, which are exporting fashion and handicraft collections to Europe using colored cotton as a raw material, with benefits for all components of the production chain.