A strong voice for Brazil’s powerful farmers

Juan Forero – NPR, 01/07/2012

In some ways, Katia Abreu is still an old-fashioned farmer, one who rides her chestnut mare, Billy Jean, to tour her farm in Tocantins state in north-central Brazil.

She glides the horse along a gravel road, which soon turns to dirt, and along fields of sorghum and corn. She has plans for more.

“Soon, we’re going to produce fish and lamb,” she says. “There will be soybeans and fields of tall grass for cattle. Lots of cattle.”

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Tractors moving faster in Brazil with cheap loans

Roberto Samora-Reuters, 04/27/10

Farm machinery sales in Brazil should recover in 2010 from a crisis-driven slump, as producers take advantage of state-subsidized loans to renew equipment or mechanize for the first time.

The government of the South American agricultural powerhouse introduced subsidized loans for the purchase of machines like tractors and harvesters in an effort to staunch an economic slowdown from which Brazil soon bounced back.

The measure, known locally as the PSI, has been extended until the end of this year and the Brazilian Association for the Machinery and Equipment Industry (Abimaq) expects sales to rise about 30 percent in 2010 after the previous year’s dip.

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