Abstract and Keywords
This chapter analyzes the evolution of agriculture in Brazil from the early sixteenth century until the second decade of the twenty-first century. It focuses on seven domestic and external conditioning factors that have stimulated and supported the sector’s expansion in Brazil. These factors and the way that they have impacted agricultural expansion and will continue to drive Brazil’s agricultural sector for at least the next two decades. Given the availability of fallow arable land, at current productivity levels, this idle area could be used to double crop production. The transference of road operation to the regulated private sector will lead to improved road surfaces and maintenance, thereby facilitating the transportation of agricultural production to exporting ports. The reduction of agricultural sector subsidies and the increased forest conservation efforts by the European Union should improve Brazilian agriculture’s competitive position in many foreign markets currently served by EU farmers. The increasing share of Brazil’s agricultural production sold in world markets makes the country’s agricultural sector more vulnerable than ever to uncontrollable outside forces. World economic growth, especially that of China and the European countries, is a necessity if the Brazilian agricultural sector is to continue expanding and improving efficiencies. Most Brazilian agricultural inputs continue to be produced by foreign companies or their Brazilian subsidiaries. These overseas entities are a very strong force in the domestic inputs market and represent another uncontrollable factor that affects local farmers’ earnings and Brazil’s balance of trade.
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