By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Brazil may register the largest agricultural production in its history in 2017, according to data by the Brazil’s National Supply Company (Conab). The production is expected to increase up to 15.6 percent from 2016 results, and the harvests could total from 210.9 million to 215.1 million tons.
“The increase of income in the (planting) fields occur thanks to the competence of our producers, the climate, but, mainly, to the incorporation of technologies, in addition to long-term credit lines,” said Neri Geller, Agricultural Policy secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply (Mapa), to journalists at a press conference last week during Conab’s announcement of next year’s forecast.
Geller said that there is an optimistic expectation that production will continue to increase in coming years due the projected increase of total planted area throughout the country. According to Conab data, the increase in total planted area is expected to be close to 2.3 percent this year for next year’s harvest, with a total of 58.5-59.7 million hectares being used for agriculture in the country.
According to the official, over the past ten years, planted area has grown by about 10 million hectares, increasing by twenty percent during the period, while productivity has increased by 50-60 percent during the same time. “Productivity shows that the (Brazilian) producer continues to invest in technology,” noted Geller.
Among the crops expected to show the greatest production increases are beans (increase ranging from 17.3 to 24.4 percent in relation to the 2016 harvest); cotton (up between 8.1 and 14.8 percent); wheat (+14.5 percent); rice (up between 8.3 and 13.9 percent); corn (up between 4.7 and 10.4 percent); and soybean (up between 6.5 and 8.5 percent).