As the largest country in South America, Brazil is one of the largest exporter of agricultural products in the world. The country currently is the world’s largest exporter of sugar cane, coffee, and soybeans.
Brazil also is the world’s largest exporter of ethanol — a fuel made from soybeans — as well as frozen chickens.
‘Breadbasket of the World’
Brazil gained its reputation as the “Breadbasket of the World” thanks to the success of the agricultural producers in Estado Novo, or “New State”. And it’s agriculture is still growing by leaps and bounds.
By 2009, the country had more than 260 million acres of fertile land that was still undeveloped. That’s larger than the entire surface area of France and Spain combined.
Southern Brazil Most Fertile
The most fertile part of Brazil is the southern two-thirds. Part of that has to do with the fact that the still mostly wild Amazon rainforest takes up most of the upper third of the country.
But it also has to do with the south’s semi-temperate climate, high rainfall, and fertile soil. Brazilians also have invested heavily in technology and infrastructure, accounting for the vast production of grains and oilseeds in this region.
The central part of the country is composed mostly of grasslands, which are useful only for grazing.
Coffee the Most Famous Export
While Brazil exports everything from rubber to cocoa, it’s probably best known for its coffee.
Coffee is closely associated with the growth of the ruling class in the 20th Century. In fact, there was so much coffee being produced by Brazil that a global glut of Brazilian coffee drove down prices at the beginning of the 20th Century.
Today, coffee is only one of many of the country’s principal agricultural products. Others include cotton, corn, rice, wheat, tobacco, beans and fruit, as well as vegetables like cassava.