The Brazilian soybean is competitive, but at what cost to the environment?

Brazil is at the centre of the debates on the world analysis of agricultural and agro-food dynamics thanks to its performance in terms of competitiveness on the international markets, but also because of the risks run by the environment as a result of the development of its intensive model of agricultural production. Its weight considerably intensified in the commercial talks held in the World Trade Organization (WTO) context as its share in the world production and trade increased. The continuing expansion of its agricultural frontiers and the modernization of its agriculture helped Brazil to increase its agricultural and agro-food exports rapidly, especially soybean, poultry and pork meat exports on top of more traditional ones like sugar or coffee. At the same time, it became a major actor in all the talks regarding environmental protection, especially as far as Amazonia is concerned. The case of the accelerated development of soybean crops illustrates quite well the challenges Brazil has to face. Is the expansion of the “soybean complex” in the Northern parts of the country a chance or a threat?

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Publication Type:
Journal Article
DOI and Other Identifiers:
ISSN 1778-4379 (Other)
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Published in:
INRA Sciences Sociales, 2006
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