The “big five” food exporters are United States, Canada, Australia, Argentina and the European Union. As of recently, Brazil has become the first tropical agriculture giant to challenge the dominance of the “big five.” Brazil is able to compete because it is the world’s fifth-largest country by geographical area and the largest in terms of arable land. With advancements in scientific research, Brazil’s agribusiness is growing. Even though Brazil is experiencing an economic boom there are setbacks. Brazil’s advancements in research are needed to give it a chance to compete in world markets and provide food for locals.

Four decades ago Brazil’s agribusiness didn’t have professional management, capital markets or new technology. Brazil feared it wouldn’t be able to import enough food and lacked in exports to the rest of the world. As of recently Brazil is experiencing growth in agribusiness. Even though Brazil uses only a fraction of its land, the country produces a highly diverse array of agricultural goods (cotton, soybean, sugarcane, corn, potatoes, etc.). Unlike in Europe and the United States where large amounts of subsidies are granted to help farmers, Brazil has taken a different approach. It started through expanding domestic production through scientific research, not subsidies. With no subsidies, Brazil’s farmers are competing with the world market prices. The research is creating plant varieties to adapt to the region’s soil and climate. Brazil is having a lot of success by encouraging small farms and organic practices.

According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, there are 20 agribusiness companies in Brazil’s so-called billionaires’ club, where five years ago there were the so-called ‘A,B,C,D’ multinational trading companies—Archer Daniel Midlands (ADM), Bunge, Cargill and Louis Dreyfus. Investors are also aiding in the process by giving money to help research. With Brazil’s abundance of land and water, farms in Brazil are much larger than those in the United States. With new technological advancements on the present farms of Brazil, their crop will increase to the point they are producing as much as any of the “top five.”

Even though Brazil is growing economically it is having setbacks. Brazil has deficiencies in infrastructure, including poor transportation and storage facilities, and high port costs, which setback the agribusiness. Other challenges include the need to import fertilizers, environmental pressures and labor issues. These are costing the country more money. Another set back is the 10.75% interest rate, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit. With banks reluctant to service high risk sectors, some corporate farms have sought backing from foreign investment funds. Not only money but there is continual deforestationto the Amazon. On they show in 1988 there were 8,127 square miles of deforestation. As of 2009 and 2010 the forests were under 3,000 square miles. Even though agriculture has destroyed the Amazon, their new technologies and higher quality will allow them to produce more crops in the land they already have. Growth will come through better use of existing crop and pasture land, not just the opening of new areas. With the new technology, less land will have to be deforested.

Although Brazil is experiencing setbacks, these are minor to the advancements Brazil has already made. Over time Brazil will continue to grow and become one of the “top five.”