Friday, May 27, 2011

China’s Interest in Farmland Makes Brazil Uneasy - NYTimes.com

China’s Interest in Farmland Makes Brazil Uneasy - NYTimes.com

Officials in this farming area would not sell the hundreds of thousands of acres needed. Undeterred, the Chinese pursued a different strategy: providing credit to farmers and potentially tripling the soybeans grown here to feed chickens and hogs back in China.

“They need the soy more than anyone,” said Edimilson Santana, a farmer in the small town of Uruaçu. “This could be a new beginning for farmers here.”

The $7 billion agreement signed last month — to produce six million tons of soybeans a year is one of several struck in recent weeks as China hurries to shore up its food security and offset its growing reliance on crops from the United States by pursuing vast tracts of Latin America’s agricultural heartland.

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