Brazil’s minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply Mendes Ribeiro Filho formed a crisis cabinet in response to the industry’s call for emergency action from the government to address the big losses currently faced by producers.
According to the Brazilian Association of Pig Breeders (ABCS), producers need a minimum of R$2.60 per pound liveweight to produce pigs profitably, but some farmers are receiving just R$1.90. These low prices, combined with the rising cost of inputs such as corn and soybeans, and difficult climatic conditions, have resulted in large losses in the industry over recent years.
Brazilian Census data reveals that 70,000 Brazilian pig farmers exited the industry between 1996 to 2006. ABCS president Marcelo Lopes blamed the decline on “years of inertia by the federal government” and warned that if the losses were not addressed, the sector would soon lose the rest of its production capacity.
ABCS and other pig industry representatives have submitted a range of demands to the government, including an extension of debt maturities, an increase of credit limits for pig producers and the inclusion of pork in Policy Guarantee Minimum Prices (PGPM).
Mendes Ribeiro promised to provide an official response to the demands at the next hearing of the crisis cabinet, due to take place on 27 June.