Agriculture in South America - University of Kentucky

Agriculture in South America - University of Kentucky

Agriculture in South America Breadbasket of the World? Emergence of Agriculture Historical shift in global agriculture is taking place

Heart of this dominance has long been the United States But South America is emerging as the worlds bread basket Why? Reasons for Growth in South American Agriculture

New techniques and technology are being used to bring formerly unusable and barren lands into productivity Part of the Green Revolution- hybrid and disease resistant seeds, fertilizers, pesticides Economics is a factor: new demands from an increasingly sophisticated high end market and vegetarian habits/organic products Demand includes traditional crops (soybeans) as well as specialized: radicchio, endive, asparagus, bok choy, artichokes, avocados and citrus Demand for meat from protein hungry

Chinese middle class Brazil Chief among the producers is the nation of Brazil Abundant land Significant farming population-labor issue

Mato Grosso, Brazil Location of Brazils cerrado Brazils cerrado (www.agbrazil.com) Brazilian Portuguese word cerrado (tropical high plains) translates to "closed, inaccessible wasteland Brazil's high-plains, the cerrados, cover an estimated 207 million hectares, or about one-fourth of the country. All

but a small area lies south of the equator. From a US perspective, the cerrados equal 26% of the area of the lower 48 states--more than 510 million acres-an area larger than the US east of the Mississippi River, excluding Florida. The area that can be cropped is estimated at about 120 million hectares. Only about 50 million ha, less than one-fourth of the cerrados, is now economically used. Of that, dryland and irrigated crops cover about 20 million ha. The rest is in pasture. The region began to open in the 1960s with the building of Brasilia, the new capital city Brazils cerrado

First commercial agriculture enterprises to start up in the cerrados were extensive livestock operations Changed dramatically in late 1970s with the development of the "tropical" soybean and with new techniques for managing cerrado soils Viable crop agriculture in the cerrados brought a mass population movement into the region. Most of the

migrants were farmers from southern states of Brazil Cheap land was the attraction; for every hectare of land they sold elsewhere, they could buy 10 to 40 hectares in the cerrados. At the outset of the migration in the early 1980s, a hectare of Western Bahia land could be bought for the equivalent of the price of a pack of cigarettes. Today, virgin land sells for US$250 or less per hectare.

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