GDP growth in agriculture amid the crisis shows the sector’s resilience, highlights Faesp

Fabio de Salles Meirelles, president of the Federation of Agriculture and Livestock of the State of São Paulo (Faesp), highlights that the growth of 1.2% in activity in the second quarter, compared to the same period in 2019, and 0.4% compared to the three months immediately previous highlighted the sector's ability to overcome, resilience and quality. “Rural areas managed to maintain their expansion in the very serious situation of Covid-19, in which other areas showed significant declines, as demonstrated by Brazilian GDP data released by IBGE”.

The positive contributions from agriculture refer to soybean (5.9%), rice (7.3%) and coffee (18.2%) crops. “It is worth noting that exports in general from our sector were also fundamental. While the country's total foreign sales fell by 7.4%, agribusiness sales rose by almost 10%. Highlight for beef, whose sales abroad increased by 25.7% in the first half of the year, when agriculture also had a positive performance in foreign trade, 1.6% compared to the same period in 2019.

“São Paulo plays a decisive role in the GDP results of Brazilian agribusiness, as it is an important producer of coffee, rice, peanuts, sugar cane, corn, fruits, soybeans, vegetables. Agriculture in São Paulo is also advanced, mainly in the regions of Andradina, Araçatuba, Barretos São José do Rio Preto and Presidente Prudente. As for dairy cattle, the main producing regions are Vale do Paraíba, Campinas, Araraquara, São Carlos, Rio Claro, Mococa, Franca and Porto Ferreira.

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Actions to support rural areas during the pandemic

Fábio de Salles Meirelles highlighted that the results of agribusiness in GDP in the second quarter were achieved with a lot of commitment and work. “In order for them to be achieved, in addition to the effort of each rural producer, there was a great mobilization of class entities, such as the actions we carried out within the scope of Faesp”, he stressed, remembering: “In the first days of information about the pandemic, we instituted the Crisis Committee, to monitor and propose actions to support the countryside, in order to minimize the impacts on its activities and on the food supply to the population”. The board's first step was to create an intelligence group and network to monitor problems in real time and ensure the maintenance of operations in the supply chain, providing direct channels for producers to report their difficulties and needs.

Another initiative was “Pertinho de Casa”, an application that allows direct purchases by consumers and whose success prevented many families from joining the government emergency aid queue and the list of those helped by the fraternity. “They are producing, selling, earning their money and serving thousands of people”, explained the sector leader, also mentioning a campaign carried out throughout the State for people to give preference to ethanol in fueling their cars. The action involved the participation of several city halls.

Action was also structured so that hundreds of seamstresses, many of them instructors of SENAR-AR/SP (National Rural Learning Service) courses, produced millions of masks destined for producers and rural workers and for holy houses of mercy in the interior of São Paulo. “These women, many of them breadwinners, would be without income at the most acute moment of the pandemic. However, they are working and maintaining themselves, in addition to helping to provide important protective equipment against contagion”, highlighted the president of Faesp, citing another initiative, Feira Segura, aimed at increasing the safety of stallholders and consumers.

Rural insurance

Faesp also played a strong role in requesting the Government of the State of São Paulo to release the second half's installment, of R$ 26 million, to subsidize the rural insurance premium. In the first half of the year, R$ 25 million had been released. “Now, we understand that an additional R$ 20 million is still needed, which we are requesting from the Department of Agriculture and Supply”, concludes Fábio de Salles Meirelles.

Source: DATA

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