President Dilma Rousseff said Monday that Brazil this year will become the world's largest soybean producer.
"It will be a new production record that will show the power of Brazilian agriculture, which is very important for growth, for internal supply, for exports and for the trade balance," said Rousseff on her weekly radio program.
The president's confirmation was based on calculations by state-run Compañia Nacional de Abastecimiento, or Conab, which forecasts a grain harvest for this year of around 193 million tons, of which 90 million tons will be soybeans.
In recent years, the Brazilian economy has grown at rates below 2 percent at the same time that exports have gradually fallen, just like the country's trade surplus.
The government is betting on an expected rebound in agriculture to begin to balance those indicators, but that also depends on the development of infrastructure that will help to improve supply capacity and the shipment of production from the fields to the cities and ports.
In that regard, Rousseff recalled that the government has increased financing for the agricultural sector and has made available over the next five years a credit line of 25 billion reais ($10.4 billion) for the construction of silos.
She also cited a huge public and private investment program to improve and expand the network of highways and ports, whereby the government expects to reduce the costs of shipping agricultural products. EFE