Speaking on Brazilian national television yesterday (19 April), Ribeiro Filho said that Brazilian beef production will be able to supply 44.5% of the world market by 2020, with chicken meat expected to reach 48.1% of world exports and pork 14.2%.
Ribeiro Filho discussed a wide range of issues during the interview, including the country’s current dispute with Argentina over pork exports.
Brazilian pork exports to Argentina have dropped by almost 80% as a result of new import restrictions forcing exporters to apply for licences before entering the country. Ribeiro Filho said that he had warned his Argentinean counterpart, Norberto Yauhar, that unless the issue was resolved, Brazil might impose restrictions on Argentinean imports.
“Our meat must be released. If not, we are going to hinder the entry of Argentine products and that it is not good for anyone. Is not what President Dilma Rousseff wants. We want our trade to be revived,” he said.
Other areas covered included the importance of agriculture to the Brazilian economy. Ribeiro Filho pointed out that agriculture accounts for 70.4% of the country’s GDP and the sector employs 30m people. The livestock sector alone accounts for 29.6% of the GDP.
“Agribusiness is, without doubt, the great engine of the economy and it is largely responsible for the Brazilian trade balance surplus. If Brazil did not have the contribution of agribusiness, the country would not have the large accumulation of reserves that it currently has,” he said.
On the topic of foot-and-mouth disease, he said that Brazil had started vaccinating cattle and buffalo in the states of Bahia and Rondônia this week.
The vaccinations in Rondônia were given to animals under 24 months as part of a vaccination timetable set out by the Ministry of Agriculture. The vaccinations in Bahia were early due to the drought affecting the region. The second stage of the vaccination will take place in Rondônia between October 15 and November 15, with all remaining cattle and buffalo vaccinated, Ribeiro Filho added.