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This paper aims to appraise the technological capabilities of sugarcane agro-industry in Minas Gerais State, that has the second largest area planted with sugarcane in Brazil, that is 679.000 ha. A field research survey with sugar and ethanol mills provides the primary data for assessing technological capabilities. The theoretical approach used was the technological capabilities matrix, which is based in Lall (1992), being this matrix divided into three specifications: basic (simple routine), intermediate (adaptive duplicative) and advanced (innovative risky). As a main finding, this sugarcane agro-industry, technically qualified and with low cost, presents a reasonable domain of basic and intermediate technological capabilities. However, the advanced technological capabilities are still lagging behind the technological frontier.


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