To describe Embrapa role in the development of the agribusiness it was important to characterize the economic environment that prevailed in the sixties and beginning of the seventies to show that the creation and development of Embrapa was a conscious decision of the federal government to bolster agricultural production and exports to solve food supply deficiencies and balance of pay-ment problems. The mandate of Embrapa was very specific and clear: to generate technology for the adoption of the farmers. The paper stresses the importance of the universities, state research and the connections with international advanced research centers. Brazil developed an important agricul-tural research complex to deal with problem of tropical environment. This complex handles tech-nologies to the farmers and is fed by their problems. Presently is also working with farmer problems of Africa, Asia and Latin America countries. The growth of productivity at the farmer level explains much of the success of the agribusiness, and it is one of the greatest successes of agrarian sciences, of farmer ingenuity, macroeconomic stability, and of the institutions in charge of the development of agriculture. Side by side with great success of the agribusiness there are millions of small pro-ducers left at the margin of modern agriculture. To solve their problem is one of the most important challenges of Brazilian society. The text also reviews Brazilian agricultural and agrarian reform policies.


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