Knowledge for better food systems

Agricultural development in Brazil

This book explores the economic, environmental and social aspects of the development of Brazil’s agricultural sector over time. Chapter topics include the role of public policies, innovation and research, family farming and land governance.

Publisher’s summary

Brazilian agriculture has experienced a seismic transformation over the last decades, and its contradictory facets have fed different and opposing narratives regarding recent changes. This book covers these changes, exploring the issues from several empirical and analytical angles, including the role of agriculture in the contemporary Brazilian economy, the dynamics of Brazilian agricultural value-chains, environmental challenges, and the processes of social differentiation.

Brazilian agriculture continues to be viewed in the international literature either through lenses of the past century – those of former problems relating to land use and land tenure – or apologetically. This collection of essays aims at updating the current interpretations, providing objective accounting of the main transformations, its determinants, results, contradictions and limitations. As it covers the most relevant traits of Brazilian agricultural and rural development, the book will provide the readers an encompassing view of contemporary Brazilian agriculture, including the positive and negative sides of the so-called tropical agriculture revolution. It highlights the tremendous economic potential as well as the continuing structural heterogeneity, concentration of production and marginalization of millions of small farmers.

Written in an engaging and accessible style, this book will be perfect for all those interested in learning about Brazilian agriculture. It will be of particular interest to undergraduate and graduate students of economic development, agricultural economics, rural sociology, comparative economic development, rural development and agricultural policies.

 

Reference

Buainain, A. M., Lanna, R., and Navarro, Z. (eds.), 2019. Agricultural Development in Brazil: The Rise of a Global Agro-food Power, 1st Edition. Routledge, Abingdon.

For more details, see here. See also the Foodsource building block What are food systems? and the book Feeding the world: Brazil’s transformation into a modern agricultural economy.

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Latin America and the Caribbean

Latin America and the Caribbean occupies the central and southern portion of the Americas. The region is home to the world’s largest river (the Amazon River), the largest rainforest (the Amazon Rainforest), and the longest mountain range (the Andes). Export-oriented agriculture constitutes an important part of the economy, especially in Brazil and Argentina. This large continent has a range of climates spanning the ice of Patagonia, the tropical forests of much of the continent, and more temperate regions in, for example, Mexico and Chile. Due to the greatly differing geography and economic development in the continent, all types of agriculture can be found in Latin America. Subsistence farming and cash cropping with coffee, cocoa and so on are common in many nations including most of central America, whereas large-scale beef production in the cerrado of Brazil provides an example of hyper-large farms run by large businesses.

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