Brazil Boosts Investment in Agriculture by 12% to US$ 40 Billion

A sugarcane plant in Brazil In the next few days Brazil is expected to announce the country's annual investment plan in support for agriculture and livestock. which is estimated to increase 12% totaling in the region of US$ 40 billion, said Brazilian Agriculture Minister, Reinhold Stephanes.

The figure was decided last week following a final meeting with Brazilian President, Luiz Lula da Silva, and will be applicable to the 2008/09 harvest season.

Stephanes underlined that in the 40 years he's been linked or working for the Brazilian federal government he had never come across such a "consensus" among all government offices and agencies as to the promotion of investments in agriculture.

"In the past we would have a lot of conflicts with different federal offices pulling or lobbying for their interests, not this time," he said.

The official announcement should take place next July 2 when the agriculture and livestock plan for 2008/09 is officially announced.

Among the different projects included is one for the recovery of pastures and degraded soils to be addressed with soft loans, bearing an interest rate no higher than the inflation.

The annual package extends from actual production to marketing, ample credits for small farmers and an insurance system to reduce the risks of climate change.

Brazil is one of the world's leading agriculture powers and agribusiness represents the equivalent of 25% of the country's GDP, which in 2007 was approximately US$ 390 billion. Brazil is a leading exporter of soybeans, beef, poultry, hogs, coffee, tropical fruit, orange juice, sugar and ethanol from sugar cane.

Farm exports in the first five months of the year have reached the record sum of US$ 27 billion in spite of the constant appreciation of the Brazilian currency against the American dollar, which has an impact in domestic costs.

Mercopress

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