Global Opportunities

Opportunities in the Brazilian Agribusiness

Following the current trend of Industry 4.0, Brazilian agribusiness sector – 30% of the country’s GDP – is becoming digital and is opening diverse opportunities for Swiss companies with innovative tools and solutions.

Swiss companies can boost the agriculture business in Brazil with innovative technologies
Swiss companies can boost the agriculture business in Brazil with innovative technologies

With 75 million hectares of its lands dedicated to agriculture production and 8.8 % of arable areas in the territory (IBGE, 2017), Brazil is naturally suited to large agricultural production in different crops, such as sugarcane, soybean, corn, dairy, coffee and fruits. The country is currently the 3rd biggest agricultural producer and a major player in livestock subsector, with the second largest production of beef and chicken worldwide.

Despite the economic recession in 2015-16 and slight recovery in 2017, Brazilian agribusiness’ GDP grew 13 % last year (IBGE, 2018), beating national record in the volume of crops while thriving through innovation. The Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture (MAPA) acknowledges that 67 % of the agriculture properties already use some sort of high precision technology (MAPA, 2017). By investing in R&D, Internet of Things, Big Data and Biotechnology, this key economic sector is revolutionizing from beginning to the end of its production line.

According to the Brazilian Enterprise for Agricultural Research (Embrapa), Brazil is already ahead when it comes to Agribusiness 4.0 trend, especially by incorporating new processes. As reported by McKinsey Consultancy, the digital era will generate approximately BRL 24 million from the Brazilian fields. Added improvements also include precision practices and processes, a wide usage of sophisticated climate changes and prediction sensors, and the incorporation of biological resources and renewable processes. Such technologies are in place at the country’s most innovative players within the agribusiness sector, according to Valor Econômico’s Innovation Rank 2017: Algar Agro, Adama Brasil, Syngenta, Monsanto / Climate Corp and Coopercitrus. However, there is still a lot of room for growth: according to the Strategy&PwC Innovation Rank, only 38 % of the interviewed agro-companies implemented the data processing to their technologies.

Looking in depth to the sector’s transformation, many of the new technologies expected to optimize the Brazilian agriculture are also key assets of the Swiss innovation ecosystem, including big data, robotics and the usage of drones.