September 29, 2020


Brazilian soy farmers group splits from Brazil Agribusiness Association over Amazon deforestation issue


Aprosoja, Brazil's biggest soy farmers lobby group has left the Brazil Agribusiness Association (Abag) because of the latter's support for an initiative requesting the Brazilian government to stop increased Amazon rainforest deforestation, Reuters reported.


The departure of Aprosoja from Abag shows how contentious the environmental protection issue is for Brazil's farming industry, which supported the current Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro in the 2018 election.


Environmental concerns revolving around importing Brazilian products linked to Amazon deforestation has disrupted talks of a free trade deal between the European Union and Mercosur, the South American trade bloc which will affect Brazilian farmers who could benefit from more exports.


Many major Brazilian farmers and commodities trading companies blame small scale producers for driving illegal deforestation.


On the other hand, some farmers as well as President Bolsonaro said Brazil's poor environmental image was due to a smear campaign by non-governmental organisations (NGOs).


Bartolomeu Braz Pereira, Aprosoja president said to Reuters that Abag was politicking by siding with NGOs


Pereira said NGOs do not want to preserve the environment and by supporting NGOs, Abag was complicit in destroying rural producers' image.


Abag said it doesn't comment on member organisations leaving but said it was not a cause for concern.


Amazon forest deforestation increased 34.5% from July 2019 to 2020, according to government space research agency Inpe.


-      Reuters

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