2nd Quarter 2006
Agriculture and Trade and Consumers and Markets
Tilling Latin American Soils
Peter Goldsmith, Guest Editor and John B. Penson, Jr., Editor
Peter Goldsmith, Guest Editor
Latin America has emerged as a dominant force within the global agri-food system, both as a demander and supplier of goods. While agribusiness investment occurs at a torrid pace, the region brings to light a number of fundamental issues facing the global community. For example, Brazil holds the world's largest reserves of tillable land. Should they be developed to meet the world's needs for food, feed, fuel, and fiber? At the heart of these fundamental issues is the tradeoff between the need for growth and the need to protect the vulnerable; in society and in the environment. This theme focuses on how governments, communities, firms, and the environment are juxtaposed when Latin America becomes the world's 'food basket' in the 21st century.
Fabio R. Chaddad and Marcos S. Jank
Brazilian farm policy has evolved from emphasizing food security and self-sufficiency to a focus on deregulation and trade. Recently though, policy has taken a reactionary bent focused on small farms and land reform. This article discusses the evolution of agricultural policies and how they impact sector competitiveness.
Joao Martines-Filho, Heloisa L. Burnquist, and Carlos E. F. Vian
This paper documents the forces and challenges for Brazil as it has risen to global leadership in bioenergy. Key issues discussed are appropriate government policy, strategic investments in R&D, the importance of market forces, and the competition for inputs between the food and energy sectors.
Peter Goldsmith and Rodolfo Hirsch
This paper coveys the story of the Brazilian soybean complex. It is a story of the classic rise of an industry due to natural resource abundance and strategic investments in agricultural technology. But, it is also a story about the challenges facing developing countries in the post-modern world.
Carlos Steiger
World beef production and trade have significantly increased in recent years due to dynamic demand and supply factors. Mercosur countries have played an important role by doubling their share of world exports to over 42%. This increasing dependence on Latin America for beef has important social, environmental, and economic implications.

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