Brazil: The Challenges of Becoming an Agricultural Superpower

This paper is a section of the forthcoming publication “Brazil as an Economic Superpower? Understanding Brazil’s Changing Role in the Global Economy” (Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press), Lael Brainard and Leonardo Martinez-Diaz (eds.).


This paper provides an overview of Brazil’s agroindustrial sector and examines the challenges Brazil faces in becoming an agricultural superpower. These challenges include restoring the investment pattern in infrastructure, science and technology, and human capital of previous decades, with the difference that this time the role of private-sector financing will necessarily be much more important. Other challenges include environmental sustainability, sanitary and food quality/security conditions, and trade policy and negotiations. The public sector has yet to deal with centuries-old issues such as rural labor relations, agrarian reform, and Indian issues.