Brazil increases credits to agriculture by 8% for the period 2021-2022

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Brasilia, Jun 22 (EFE) .- The Brazilian government announced on Tuesday that it will offer public credits for 250,000 million reais (about 50,000 million dollars) for agriculture between 2021 and 2022, which represents an increase of 8% compared to the period previous.

“We feed 1,000 million people in the world,” declared President Jair Bolsonaro when announcing the credits and referring to Brazil’s status as a major exporter of agricultural products.

“It is useless to say that we are burning the Amazon. That is a lie and it is a campaign for our potential,” he pointed out in reference to his theory that criticism of his aggressive environmental policies is due to Brazil’s enormous competitiveness in the global agricultural market.

The loans, granted by the public banks to large and small farmers, responsible for Brazil’s status as a large food exporter, will have annual interest rates that range between 3% and 7%, which on average are higher by one 10% to those applied in the 2020-2021 period.

As explained by the Ministry of Agriculture, this is due to the rise in the reference rates established by the Central Bank, in order to try to contain a growing inflation that, as of last May, stood at 8.06% year-on-year.

The reference interest rate had fallen during the last five years to reach 2%, a record low for Brazil, but since last March the Central Bank has gradually raised it and now stands at 4.25%.

Of the total credits announced on Tuesday, 40,000 million reais (8,000 million dollars) will be allocated to family farming, which together is responsible for about 70% of the food consumed in the country.

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According to the Ministry of Agriculture, the loans will be offered to finance production operations, marketing, insurance, construction of silos and recovery of degraded areas, which are prepared for agriculture with low environmental impact.

“It is a plan that is already painted green and that gives priority to low-carbon production,” the Minister of Agriculture, Tereza Cristina Correa, declared at the ceremony.

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