A new vision for agriculture
momagri, movement for a world agricultural organization, is a think tank chaired by Christian Pèes.
It brings together, managers from the agricultural world and important people from external perspectives,
such as health, development, strategy and defense. Its objective is to promote regulation
of agricultural markets by creating new evaluation tools, such as economic models and indicators,
and by drawing up proposals for an agricultural and international food policy.
A look at the news

Brazil, An agricultural titan with feet of clay

March 30, 2015

At a recent agribusiness conference in Latin America, the industry’s leading specialists and professionals expressed their concerns about a possible deterioration of the Brazilian agro-food industry in a context of faltering logistics structures and new social tensions.

As the world’s top sugar producer, second largest beef producer and leading soybean exporter, the “world farm” Brazil is winning high marks. Yet, the lower margins from the 2014/2015 harvest could affect investments forwards future crops, at a time when the financial situation of farms has recently been disrupted by credit restrictions and reduced appropriations, a tougher agricultural policy and a weaker Real.

Moreover, the country’s social balances are shaky, especially in agriculture. During one week in March, 30,000 landless farmers took to the streets throughout the country to demand land reforms, and to suggest that agro-ecology be an alternative to agribusiness. On March 15, 1.5 million Brazilians––including one million in Sao Paulo alone––protested against President Dilma Rousseff, who is mired in the economic turmoil and the Petrobras corruption scandal.

Added to these current challenges, significant logistics shortcomings are repeatedly weakening the country’s farming operations, such as the lack of infrastructures and all-season roads. The recent truck drivers’ strike at the end of February highlighted again this inadequacy, and especially crippled the transportation of soybean crops to exporting ports.

momagri is closely monitoring the changes in Brazilian agriculture, since the SGPAA (Global Support to Agricultural and Food Production) indicator designed by momagri shows regular increases (+55 percent between 2007 and 2012), and exceeds the per-capita figure for the European Union in 2013-2014. While this increase ultimately denotes the balance between achieving food security and capturing new markets, we must not underestimate the combination of exogenous and endogenous risks that also impact the country’s balances. At a time when some experts are speaking of the threat of a “democratic breakdown” in Brazil, the exogenous risks––especially socio-political risks––appear to be powerful destabilizing forces that could paralyze the country’s economy and its agriculture over time.

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Paris, 20 June 2019