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The agricultural economy of Northeast Brazil (Inglês)

The Northeast problem is one of massive economic and social disparity, compounded by an apparent intractability. This study focuses on the agricultural sector. Formulation of agricultural policy has been difficult and disappointing to a large degree as a result of the diversity in farming systems and in production and marketing patterns. Therefore, the study identifies seven distinct physiographic zones. It distinguishes different groups in the agricultural labor force according to tenurial arrangements that affect their access to land. Discussion of agricultural production leads to the suggestion that the product mix, which is inferior and locally consumed, contributes to the region's stagnation. Farm incomes are highly skewed, depending partly on farm size and partly on location. It appears that the large farm sector is not using resources efficiently. Labor is perhaps the only factor for which markets, delivery systems, and mobility are sufficient to balance demand and supply. A linear programming model provides a consistent quantitative framework within which to identify the factors constraining development and to simulate effects of policy interventions. Land reform emerges as the most likely prerequisite for solving the Northeast problem.


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    Kutcher, G. Scandizzo, Pasquale L.

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    América Latina e Caribe,

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    The agricultural economy of Northeast Brazil

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