top of page

GPP and Imaflora launch study on food production in Brazil

In order to analyze the environment of food production of plant origin in Brazilian agrifood systems, GPP/Esalq and Imaflora launched in January the publication “Food production in Brazil: geography, chronology and evolution”. The study was carried out in partnership with the Ibirapitanga Institute and the ICS (Instituto Clima e Sociedade).

Agrifood systems comprise the set of actors, technologies, inputs, standards and activities related to the production, storage, transport, transformation, distribution, preparation and consumption of food. In short, the continuous complex between the field – including what makes the field work – and the plate of food, including the collective consequences of its consumption.

Agrifood systems are central to at least three major global crises: environmental (climate change, threats to biodiversity, regulation of the hydrological cycle, among other factors); social (poverty, inequality, concentration of income and opportunities, loss of cultural identity and traditional values); and public health (non-communicable chronic diseases, life expectancy and quality of life and their underlying causes). Hence the importance of an in-depth study of the functioning of these systems, especially in Brazil, where – despite the country having become a major global agricultural power – the problems of hunger and malnutrition have not been resolved.

“In the Brazilian agri-food system, which connects production with the plate of food, policies and governance aimed at production are not efficiently interconnected with policies and governance of the food issue, which also often ends up being driven more by the trailer economic rather than social interests”, points out Professor Gerd Sparovek (USP) in the preface to the publication. Data analysis was conducted by Ana Chamma (GPP/Esalq), with supervision by the group's senior researcher, Alberto Barretto.

Among the main findings:

  • the incorporation of land into the agricultural area occurs at high and relatively constant rates, regardless of the process of modernization and intensification of the agricultural sector;

  • the economy of areas for agricultural crops does not depend only on greater productive intensification. Agricultural chains combine expansion and contraction processes with or without productivity increases in predominantly intra-regional dynamics;

  • it is not possible to say that Brazil has lost variety of agricultural crops. The hypertrophy of agricultural commodities gives the false impression that there is no more variety of agricultural crops;

  • the scale of economic viability of the main crops is the central element to define the geography of agricultural production.


bottom of page