Archivos Latinoamericanos de Producción Animal, Vol 23, No 6 (2015)

Tamaño de la letra:  Pequeña  Mediana  Grande

Strategic notes on Brazilian beef cattle

Júlio O. J. Barcellos, Tamara Esteves Oliveira


The Brazilian beef production chain is one of the main protein production networks in the world and is based on a structure of suppliers of inputs, technologies, services and information. From this base, the cattle ranchers develop the production systems, using a set of techniques associated with the inputs and the processes, with the purpose of developing this fundamental portion of Brazilian agribusiness. This activity presents a predominantly pastoral basis system, zebu breeds or products of their crosses with taurine races and whose indicators of efficiency and productivity have been evolving in the last decades. The meat produced is primarily intended for the domestic market, but given its volume it occupies the top positions on the international market. Since the 1990s, it has become a more competitive chain as a result of the availability of environmental resources, extensive pasture areas and the availability of specific technologies for the tropical environment. Prior to this period, Brazilian production did not even have sufficient production volume and quality to supply the domestic market, and despite its evolution, it still has extensive systems of low productivity, presenting operational, logistical and sanitary aspects of the herd, which limits access to the markets that best remunerate the meat. In Brazil, natural resources are already sheltered by regulatory environmental limits that limit the horizontal expansion of cattle production, which will be a new driver of intensification. For this, the producers have a system of research, development and extension made up of universities, institutes and research and innovation centers. Increasing land opportunity costs, consumer demands and environmental legislation coupled with the need for specialized human resources will be the major challenges of the next decade. In this scenario, production costs will increase, demanding that this be accompanied by technological innovations so that the competitiveness of the sector is not compromised.

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