In the last few decades, Brazilian agriculture has experienced a seismic transformation, and its contradictory facets have fed different and opposing narratives regarding recent changes. This book covers these changes, exploring the issues from several empirical and analytical angles, including the role of agriculture in the contemporary Brazilian economy, the dynamics of Brazilian agricultural value chains, environmental challenges and the processes of social differentiation.
Brazilian agriculture continues to be viewed in the international literature, either through the lenses of the past century – those of former problems relating to land use and land tenure – or apologetically. This collection of essays aims at updating the current interpretations, providing objective accounting of the main transformations, its determinants, results, contradictions and limitations. As it covers the most relevant traits of Brazilian agricultural and rural development, the book will provide the reader with an encompassing view of contemporary Brazilian agriculture, including the positive and negative sides of the so-called tropical agriculture revolution. It highlights the tremendous economic potential as well as the continuing structural heterogeneity, concentration of production and marginalization of millions of small farmers.
Written in an engaging and accessible style, this book will be perfect for all those interested in learning about Brazilian agriculture. It will be of particular interest to undergraduate and graduate students of economic development, agricultural economics, rural sociology, comparative economic development, rural development and agricultural policies.
List of editors and contributors. Abbreviations and acronyms. Introduction. 1. Agriculture, industry, and the economy: from extensive farming to a global agro-food power. 2. Rural Brazil: the demise of its agrarian past, 1968-2018. 3. Agricultural development in Brazil: the role of agricultural policies. 4. The restructuring of Brazilian agri-chains: the role of value chains. 5. Global competitiveness of the Brazilian agri-food sector: strategies and policies. 6. Innovation and development of Brazilian agriculture: research, technology, and institutions. 7. Bioenergy and biofuels in Brazil. 8. Agriculture and the environment: a conflictive and ambiguous antinomy in recent Brazilian development. 9. Rural Brazil: a social and economic space without farmers?. 10. Employment and forms of occupation in rural Brazil: from minifundio-latifundio to regulated rural labour market. 11. The fate of family farming under the new pattern of agrarian development in Brazil. 12. Structural heterogeneity in rural Brazil: three regional cases. 13. Challenges of current land governance in Brazil: beyond the historical, political and social demands for land reform. 14. Intellectual trajectories about the Brazilian agrarian transition. References. Index