IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/jfpoli/v38y2013icp146-155.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Assessing Brazil’s Cerrado agricultural miracle

Author

Listed:
  • Rada, Nicholas

Abstract

Brazil’s emergence as a primary global agricultural producer is often credited to production expansion into soils of the Brazilian savannah or Cerrado. These soils are, however, deficient in important nutrients and prone to degradation, requiring input-intensive processes that suggest a low level of productive efficiency. Employing a sequence of agricultural censuses and a biome approach for characterizing agricultural zones, the present study evaluates the Cerrado’s total factor productivity growth and productive potential. The analysis highlights the resource cost of Brazil’s “Cerrado Miracle,” the role of paved road infrastructure in expanding production opportunities, and the significant production gains that the Cerrado may yet achieve. Results suggest a substantial productivity gap between the Cerrado’s most efficient and average producers, implying that Cerrado production might well be further boosted if average producers succeed in adopting the technologies and management practices of the more efficient operators. More generally, and to the extent the Cerrado model is generalizable elsewhere, agricultural development of the world’s savannahs, such as Sub-Saharan Africa’s Guinea regions, into breadbaskets will be expensive in terms of material inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides, depending for their success therefore on the real prices of these inputs.

Suggested Citation

  • Rada, Nicholas, 2013. "Assessing Brazil’s Cerrado agricultural miracle," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 146-155.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:38:y:2013:i:c:p:146-155
    DOI: 10.1016/j.foodpol.2012.11.002
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0306919212001169
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Helfand, Steven M. & Levine, Edward S., 2004. "Farm size and the determinants of productive efficiency in the Brazilian Center-West," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 31(2-3), pages 241-249, December.
    2. Willam Greene, 2005. "Fixed and Random Effects in Stochastic Frontier Models," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 7-32, January.
    3. Nicholas E. Rada & Steven T. Buccola, 2012. "Agricultural policy and productivity: evidence from Brazilian censuses," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 43(4), pages 355-367, July.
    4. Meeusen, Wim & van den Broeck, Julien, 1977. "Efficiency Estimation from Cobb-Douglas Production Functions with Composed Error," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 18(2), pages 435-444, June.
    5. Holger Matthey & Jacinto F. Fabiosa & Frank H. Fuller, 2004. "Brazil: The Future of Modern Agriculture?," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 04-mbp6, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
    6. Keith Fuglie, 2010. "Sources of growth in Indonesian agriculture," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 225-240, June.
    7. Costa, Rafael F. & Rosson, C. Parr, III, 2007. "Improving Transportation Infrastructure in Brazil: An Analysis Using Spatial Equilibrium Model on the World Soybean Market," 2007 Annual Meeting, July 29-August 1, 2007, Portland, Oregon 9820, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    8. Holger Matthey & Jacinto F. Fabiosa & Frank H. Fuller, 2004. "Brazil: The Future of Modern Agriculture?," Midwest Agribusiness Trade Research and Information Center (MATRIC) Publications (archive only) 04-mbp6, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
    9. Vera-Diaz, Maria del Carmen & Kaufmann, Robert K. & Nepstad, Daniel C., 2009. "The Environmental Impacts of Soybean Expansion and Infrastructure Development in Brazil’s Amazon Basin," Working Papers 179072, Tufts University, Global Development and Environment Institute.
    10. Aigner, Dennis & Lovell, C. A. Knox & Schmidt, Peter, 1977. "Formulation and estimation of stochastic frontier production function models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 21-37, July.
    11. Keith O. Fuglie, 2008. "Is a slowdown in agricultural productivity growth contributing to the rise in commodity prices?," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 39(s1), pages 431-441, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Jayne, Thomas S. & Mason, Nicole M. & Burke, William J. & Ariga, Joshua, 2018. "Review: Taking stock of Africa’s second-generation agricultural input subsidy programs," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 1-14.
    2. De Oliveira Silva, Rafael & Barioni, Luis Gustavo & Queiroz Pellegrino, Giampaolo & Moran, Dominic, 2018. "The role of agricultural intensification in Brazil's Nationally Determined Contribution on emissions mitigation," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 161(C), pages 102-112.
    3. Godar, Javier & Persson, U. Martin & Tizado, E. Jorge & Meyfroidt, Patrick, 2015. "Towards more accurate and policy relevant footprint analyses: Tracing fine-scale socio-environmental impacts of production to consumption," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 25-35.
    4. Helfand, Steven M. & Magalhaes, Marcelo M. & Rada, Nicholas E., 2015. "Brazil's Agricultural Total Factor Productivity Growth by Farm Size," 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, July 26-28, San Francisco, California 204875, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    5. Jayne, T.S. & Mason, Nicole M. & Burke, William J. & Ariga, Joshua, 2016. "Agricultural Input Subsidy Programs In Africa: An Assessment Of Recent Evidence," Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy Research Papers 259509, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics, Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security (FSP).
    6. Nuppenau, Ernst-August, 2015. "Mitigation of Large-Scale Biofuel Expansion with Smallholder Conflict: Modelling of Land Use Dynamics using Control Theory for Policy Design to Sustain Food Security and Improve Productivity," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 225669, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    7. Buller, Luz Selene & Bergier, Ivan & Ortega, Enrique & Moraes, Anibal & Bayma-Silva, Gustavo & Zanetti, Marilia Ribeiro, 2015. "Soil improvement and mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions for integrated crop–livestock systems: Case study assessment in the Pantanal savanna highland, Brazil," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 206-219.
    8. Wells, Geoff J. & Stuart, Neil & Furley, Peter A. & Ryan, Casey M., 2018. "Ecosystem service analysis in marginal agricultural lands: A case study in Belize," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 32(PA), pages 70-77.
    9. de Oliveira Silva, Rafael & Barioni, Luis G. & Albertini, Tiago Zanett & Eory, Vera & Topp, Cairistiona F.E. & Fernandes, Fernando A. & Moran, Dominic, 2015. "Developing a nationally appropriate mitigation measure from the greenhouse gas GHG abatement potential from livestock production in the Brazilian Cerrado," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 140(C), pages 48-55.
    10. Rada, Nicholas & Helfand, Steven & Magalhães, Marcelo, 2019. "Agricultural productivity growth in Brazil: Large and small farms excel," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 176-185.
    11. Luciene Gomes & Silvio J. C. Simões & Eloi Lennon Dalla Nora & Eráclito Rodrigues de Sousa-Neto & Maria Cristina Forti & Jean Pierre H. B. Ometto, 2019. "Agricultural Expansion in the Brazilian Cerrado: Increased Soil and Nutrient Losses and Decreased Agricultural Productivity," Land, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(1), pages 1-26, January.
    12. Zanella, Matheus A. & Milhorance, Carolina, 2016. "Cerrado meets savannah, family farmers meet peasants: The political economy of Brazil’s agricultural cooperation with Mozambique," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 70-81.
    13. Helfand, Steven M. & Magalhaes, Marcelo M. & Rada, Nicholas E., 2015. "Brazil's Agricultural Total Factor Productivity Growth by Farm Size," 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, July 26-28, San Francisco, California 204875, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association;Western Agricultural Economics Association.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:38:y:2013:i:c:p:146-155. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/foodpol .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.