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Abstract

The development of the Brazilian agriculture over the twentieth century and at the beginning of this century led to major changes in the production process of different agricultural chains. Coffee in the Cerrado Mineiro region deserves special attention in this context; therefore, it has been established as one of the most modern in Brazil, with the adoption of a set of technological innovations, which has resulted in high yield and quality of the coffee. However, to reach this situation, the production structure has changed significantly since the early 1970’s until 2000. This study aims to point out how such transformations occurred and the consequent impacts on production as well the relations of production and employment. To reach these objectives, data from agricultural census from 1970 to 2006 was used, along with specialized work and field research with the application of semi-structured questionnaires with a representative leadership (from coffee growers and workers) and leading companies in the market of inputs and coffee equipment. The conclusion is that the modernization process of the coffee activity in the Cerrado Mineiro region has caused significant impacts on the generation of employed people, generating new activities and a demand for a workforce which is more qualified.

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