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Deforestation Control and Agricultural Supply in Brazil


  • Joaquim Bento de Souza Ferreira Filho
  • Luis Ribera
  • Mark Horridge


Brazil has dramatically increased its agricultural area under cultivation, in the process becoming a major food exporter at the cost of natural forests. A new challenge is to meet the food demands of an expanding world population in the face of pessimistic climate change scenarios and the increasing scarcity of land. Can Brazil help meet rising world food demand while conserving its tropical rainforests? To address this question we simulate outcomes using a large dynamic multiregional computable general equilibrium model of Brazil to model land use over 20 years in 90 zones and 14 agricultural sectors. The model features a land-use change module based on a transition matrix obtained from satellite imagery. We analyze two scenarios of deforestation reduction, both linked to actual policy proposals. Model results indicate several mechanisms that allow food output to increase without expanding land supply. In particular, we stress the role of Brazil's vast, low-yield pasture area as a source of future cropland. Thus, we find that controlling deforestation leads to rather small decreases in food output-which could be neutralized by tiny exogenous productivity improvements. We conclude that the decrease in deforestation will not significantly compromise Brazilian agricultural supply capacity in the foreseeable future.

Suggested Citation

  • Joaquim Bento de Souza Ferreira Filho & Luis Ribera & Mark Horridge, 2015. "Deforestation Control and Agricultural Supply in Brazil," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 97(2), pages 589-601.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ajagec:v:97:y:2015:i:2:p:589-601.

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    Cited by:

    1. Silva, Felipe & Fulginiti, Lilyan & Perrin, Richard, 2016. "Trade-off between amazon forest and agriculture in Brazil – shadow price and their substitution estimative for 2006," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 235800, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    2. Joaquim Bento de Souza Ferreira Filho & Mark Horridge, 2017. "Biome composition in deforestation deterrence and GHG emissions in Brazil," Centre of Policy Studies/IMPACT Centre Working Papers g-274, Victoria University, Centre of Policy Studies/IMPACT Centre.
    3. Carillo, B.; Branco, D.; Trujillo, J.; Lima, J.;, 2017. "The Externalities of a Deforestation Control Policy in Infant Health: Evidence from Brazil," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 17/09, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    4. Ferreira Filho, Joaquim Bento & Freitas Vian, Carlos, 2015. "The Evolving Role of Large and Middle Size Farms in Brazilian Agriculture," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 212026, International Association of Agricultural Economists.

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