Brazil’s economy has boomed in recent years, on the back of its extensive natural resources and industrial-scale agricultural practices, to become the seventh largest in the world.
Figures from the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply’s “Long Term Outlook” now indicate that the country’s livestock industry – whose associated greenhouse gas emissions and land use are already a concern for environmentalists – will grow still further in the next ten years.
Driven by increasing affluence at home and a growing number of export markets, beef production is expected to increase by 22.5 per cent, reaching 10.9 million tonnes by 2023.
Pork production is expected to grow by 21 per cent to 4.2 million tonnes over the same period, while poultry production will jump an astonishing 46 per cent, to an estimated 4.67 billion tonnes.
Brazil is home to JBS, the world’s largest multinational food processing company and beef producer, which in June also become the world’s largest processor of chickens, after buying the Brazilian meat plants of its rival company, Marfrig Alimentos.
The same time last year, JBS was the target of a Greenpeace report that accused it of continuing to level rainforest in the Amazon to create pastureland for cattle and to grow feed crops. The meat giant first sued then retracted its lawsuit.
Currently soybeans are cultivated on 27.7 million hectares of agricultural land in Brazil. The area will have grown to 34.4 million hectares by 2023, and production to 99.2 million tonnes of soybeans, a rise of 22 per cent. Corn production is expected to rise 20 per cent to 93.6 million tonnes.