Brazil’s Remarkable Advances in Promoting Sustainability; Imposes Tough Laws
By Marcelo Eduardo Luders
This year, in Brazil, the total area planted with beans of all kinds was 3.17 million hectares, from which approximately 3.4 million tons were harvested. Of this total, about 2.7 million tons were of Carioca Bean. With such a supply, prices have been low and are being traded at the end of October for US $ 780 a ton in the domestic market.
Some 700,000 tons of Brown Eye Beans were also harvested, which resulted in lower demand for exports and maintained the domestic market with good volume of offers, being sold between US $ 530/550 a ton. Part of this crop is stored and, in some cases, these products are damaged by weeds. Exporters can sell for shipment in December between US $ 640 and US $ 670, C & F India.
There are good indicators of an area that will be sown next year, in February and March, in the state of Mato Grosso, slightly higher than what was planted this year.
About other Pulses, Brazil is producing chickpeas for the domestic market and there are strong reasons for planting next year. There is much interest from countries around the world to increase production of Pulses from Brazil.
Why is Brazil becoming a major source of food production? Undoubtedly, the research and the heavy investments are basic for this to be happening. But there is much more involved. Sustainability is the main requirement, because there will only be future if there is concern today about this theme.
We have already learned that it is not enough to have government policies, but every rural producer needs to know and understand the effects of his attitude and the responsibility that each one has. For this reason, I comment below a little about what we have achieved in Brazil in recent years. Brazil supports and will participate in all environmental sustainability programs. By the way, Brazil is a step ahead in environmental sustainability.
A tech system is designed to protect preservation areas within farms and monitor the use of land in all the properties. The farmer becomes legally responsible for protecting and maintaining the georeferenced preservation areas. Government inspects and punishes any wrong land use utilizing advanced satellite images with software that automatically indicates abnormalities. The farmer could be punished automatically for any wrong land use without the need of in-site inspections.
According with the World Bank, Brazil is the first country in the ranking of preservation, with 63% of preserved lands, comparing with European Union, 25,1%, China, 17,0%, East Asia and Pacific, 15,6%, Australia, 14,6%, United States, 13,9%, Russia, 11,4%, Canada, 9,4%, Argentina, 6,8% and India, 5,3%.
Besides Brazilian legal preservation areas, farmers should also protect critical areas, like vegetation surrounding water springs (30 to 50 meters), vegetation close to rivers and lakes (20 to 500 meters), areas with inclination higher than 45° and mangroves and other specific areas.
Brazil environmental sustainability is based on improving productivity of the actual production areas avoiding adding preservation areas to the production system. Research and development in tropical agriculture is one of the main drivers.
Brazil made the option of making less money for sake of preserving our environment. Brazilian farmers can lose their property, have all credit lines suspended or even go to jail for any wrong land use and, obviously, cannot hunt any native wild life. The country has very strong labor and social responsibilities. So, Brazil made the option to leave a preserved country for the next generations.
Another point that cannot be disregarded is that Brazilian agribusiness is becoming high-tech and attracting young people. There are a record number of university students in animal and agricultural sciences: young people help our agribusiness sustainability.