November 02, 2022
Roberto Rodrígues: “I see a fantastic demand for food worldwide and Brazil and Mercosur have the leadership for production”
Yesterday, the Mauá Cycle of Conversations, led by Gustavo Grobocopatel, had its new edition: "AGROINDUSTRY IN BRAZIL, PRESENT AND FUTURE" with the participation of Roberto Rodrigues, former Minister of Agriculture of Brazil, businessman, academic and leader who highlighted the agricultural evolution in Brazil, the challenges ahead and how Brazil and Mercosur are facing the demand for food that the world faces for the next 20 years.

“We admire the growth of agribusiness in Brazil, at least in the last 20 years, but particularly in the last 10. Brazil is not just “one” Brazil: there are several and there is one that grows at 10% per year, and precisely It's about the Brazil of agribusiness” was how Gustavo Grobocopatel began his presentation to begin what would be a profound analysis and debate on the Brazilian market today and how it is projected into the future, with a new electoral result on the horizon.

“In 1954 we projected to produce 58 million grains, to later project 100 million a decade later. It was a romantic idea, yes, but in 2011 we reached 300 million tons. Why? Because we have technology on our side: in 2005, the use of GMOs was approved, something that was prohibited. The biotechnology law, added to the entrepreneurship of our country, allowed us to import 30% of what we generated for consumption: agriculture was on the downside,” said Rodrigues.

Rodrigues also assured that, in his opinion, there are 5 points to take into account for a successful agribusiness: clear public policies, entrepreneurship in abundance, infrastructure, good logistics and health defense.

“Between the 1960s and 1980s, very effective government programs were launched to conquer the center of the country, where there was a great territorial vacuum: there were no people, there was absolutely no production. The military, in the 70's, decided to occupy the agricultural frontier with small but very successful land purchase plans. This allowed a great explosion of development since agreements also began to be made with countries that need protein and food and agricultural cooperatives began to develop,” he recalled.

In addition, according to Rodrigues, this was possible because the markets opened up: “there were 3 reasons for this to happen, three internal and one external: pure entrepreneurship, integration with large companies and, above all, a fantastic opportunity to produce food for a very demanding market. ”. Rodrigues assures that the production to meet this demand will take place in the "tropical belt": Latin America, part of Africa and Asia. Key to this will be good infrastructure and logistics (costs that the states cannot afford and that will depend on significant public-private investment) and legal certainty: clear rules of the game. "Taxes and reform of the State, are coincidentally two issues that are in the Brazilian parliament to be dealt with," he adds. The agreements, he affirms, must ensure permanent markets: “we must guarantee the demand for more industrialized products and less commodities, the key is to strengthen the industry”

Regarding Mercosur, Rodrigues is categorical: “it has good intentions but it lacks political will. The true integration did not happen: that demands a more consistent action of the governments and the private sectors. It lacks strength” he affirms.

Automatic translation from spanish.

Go back