The latest projections for this season confirm record grain production. The National Supply Company (Conab) predicts a harvest of 271.2 million tons, 5.6% higher than the 2020/21 harvest (see chart).
The numbers of IBGEthe other body in charge of statistics, are a little different, but define the same trend: production of 261.7 million tons, 3.3% higher than the previous one.
This strong performance happened despite weather problems (drought), which brought down production in the South and Center-West regions.
The sector has so far benefited greatly from the increase in commodity prices on the international market, as a result of the drop in food supply resulting from the war in ukraine. It is an advantage that can be reduced, at least in part, in the flow of these grains due to the recession and the serious energy crisis that is affecting advanced countries.
In October, with the regularization of spring rains, the planting of the next crop begins in the Center-South. Conab has already announced that it expects a harvest of 308 million tons of grains for this next period, if weather conditions allow and if there is no shortage of inputs, especially fertilizers, a product that has been lacking since the end of February, when the war in Ukraine broke out. .
Agriculture still weighs relatively little in GDP, no more than 8.1%. Meanwhile, agribusiness, which includes industry and services linked to agriculture and livestock, corresponds to something less than 27% of GDP.
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Although it employs relatively little manpower, agriculture has become a dynamic hub in the support services sector. It is also a center for the dissemination of advanced technology not only in seed genetics but also in land preparation and crop management, through drones, internet, electronics embedded in agricultural equipment and machinery. In proportions that are yet to be determined, agribusiness has contributed to the internalization of cutting-edge technology in the country.
It is because of things like this that there is no point in saying that agriculture is the head and arm of backwardness in Brazil, as certain analysts have been spreading.
The vitality of agribusiness comes at a time when more and more people are being included in the global consumer market, especially in the Asia. Brazil will only not become the breadbasket of the world if it commits a lot of stupidity in the conduct of its economy.