Brazil - Country Profile
Agriculture and livestock
With a diverse climate, regular rainfall, abundant sunshine and 12% of the world's potable water, Brazil has 388 million hectares of fertile land. This gives the country a natural vocation for agriculture, and the sector currently accounts for 26% of GDP and 37.9% of exports.
With family farms playing an important role in the sector, the Federal Government created the National Program for Strengthening Family Farming (Pronaf). The program finances individual and collective projects that generate income for family farmers and agrarian reform settlers with interest rates that are lower than other forms of rural credit. The program has the lowest default rate of all lines of credit in Brazil.
Although exports are important, Brazilian agriculture also supplies a large domestic demand. With a population of over 190 million, Brazil has one of the largest consumer markets in the world. A total of 65% of current food production is consumed internally, the remaining 35% is exported to more than 211 markets.
The solid performance of the national agriculture sector is founded on research and modernization. These actions have led to an increase in productivity of over 105% during the last twenty years. The main agency for research and innovation is the Brazilian Agricultural Research Company (Embrapa), which is part of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply.
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