IBGE releases geographic analysis of preliminary results of 2017 Census of Agriculture

Section: Geosciences

December 19, 2018 10h00 AM | Last Updated: December 20, 2018 11h41 AM

The IBGE releases on Wednesday, December 19, a set of 52 boards in the Interactive Geographic Platform, which comprises the thematic booklet Geographies of the Brazilian Agriculture - A Territorial View of the Preliminary Results of the 2017 Census of Agriculture. Each board brings maps on themes surveyed in the 2006 and 2017 Censuses, followed by graphs and explanatory texts. This product aims at students, researchers, public managers and the third sector. The thematic booklet is part of the annual updating of the Digital National Atlas of Brazil 2018 and can be accessed here.

The thematic booklet brings a set of 151 maps and 135 graphs based on the preliminary data of the 2017 Census of Agriculture – released in June and available here. The maps include the location of every agricultural establishment, as well as the geographic distribution of the major agricultural products (soybeans, corn, sugarcane, coffee, rice, beans and cassava). The maps are in the IBGE´s Interactive Geographic Platform, which allows to add and manipulate information layers, like, for example, the mesh of highways and railways. It is also possible to crop the data of the 2017 Census of Agriculture for specific regions, like the Legal Amazon or the Semiarid.

The maps compare the information of the 2006 and 2017 Censuses of Agriculture, pointing out phenomena, like, for example, the advance of the agricultural frontier in the North Region, the increase in the number of establishments that use agrotoxins and the improvement of the access to the Internet. The maps also bring the geographic distribution of the agricultural establishments according to their size bracket, as well as schooling, age and color/race of the producers.                                                                           

The geographic analysis of the preliminary data of the 2017 Census of Agriculture points out two cases of nearly symmetrical trends in relation to the distribution of the agricultural establishments: Ceará and Rio Grande do Sul. In the first case, the area occupied by agricultural establishments retreated. In 2006, 53.0% of the state territory were occupied by establishments, whereas this value dropped to 46.3% in 2017. Curiously, the number of establishments increased: in 2017, they were 13,300 more establishments than in 2006. This indicates a significant deconcentration of the territory used, i.e., more agricultural producers using smaller areas.

On its turn, Rio Grande do Sul had the reverse experience. It registered a slight increase in the portion of the state territory occupied by agricultural establishments: from 76.0% in 2006 to 77.0% in 2017. Even so, the number of establishments fell significantly. They were less 76,420 establishments in 2017, a drop of 17.3%."

Except for the Federal District, the number of agricultural establishments using agrotoxins increased in every Federation Unit. The biggest percentage increases took place in Espírito Santo (29.5%) and Mato Grosso (28.1%). Although the Central-West Region has an intense agricultural activity, the highest percentage of establishments using agrotoxins remains in the states of the South Region: 72.1% of the establishments in Santa Catarina, 71.2% of the establishments in Rio Grande do Sul and 63.8% of the establishments in Paraná used agrotoxins.

The two main crops in Brazil remain soybeans and corn, and the maps portray the evolution of both of them in the territory: the North Region experienced the biggest proportional expansion in the harvested area of soybeans (339.1%), though it represents only 8.0% of the expansion of soybeans in Brazil in this period. The biggest expansion in the harvested area of soybeans was reported in the Central-West: from 7,730,388 to 14,148,202 hectares, a growth of 83.0%. In 2017, that region was responsible for 46.4% of the harvested area of soybeans in Brazil.

More than 70% of the total increase in the area occupied by agro-forestry systems in Brazil took place in the Semiarid: of the 5,614,188 hectares that Brazil gained between 2006 and 2017, 3,941,120 hectares were in that region.

The age structure of the producers is another important dimension of the transformations in the Brazilian agricultural spaces. The data of the Censuses show that the Brazilian agricultural producers are aging. Except for Acre, the share of the brackets of smaller ages – less than 25 years, 25-35 and 35-45 – dropped.  Meanwhile, the 45-55, 55-65 and 65-years-and-over brackets increased their share, especially the last two. The biggest increase, in percentage points, took place in Goiás, where the 65-years-and-over bracket experienced an increase of 7.0% between 2006 and 2017."