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Soybean area expands in Paraguayqrcode

Jun. 11, 2008

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Jun. 11, 2008
Paraguay has rapidly expanded its soybean area since the 1990s, and expects further increases. The country has approximately 8 million hectares (Ha) that are "highly suitable" for crop production, according to the country's Ministry of Agriculture. Much more than that is being tilled, reports the US Dept. of Agriculture's Foreign Agriculture Service (USDA-FAS).
The focus of expansion from the late 1980s until recently has been in the east within the main departments of Alto Parana, Itapua, and Canindeyu. As much as 80% of Paraguay's soybean production and planted areas now reside in these three departments. This development has been a westward extension of agriculture from the Brazilian states of Rio Grande do Sul, Parana, and Santa Catarina.
Departments
1991
2005
Change
Alto Paran
228,504
710,100
311%
Itap
210,523
479,225
228%
Canindey
49,030
329,740
673%
Caaguaz
21,799
158,020
725%
Caazap
8,931
112,720
1,264%
San Pedro
17,367
75,850
437%
Total
536,154
1,865,655
340%
Source: Ministry of Agriculture
Westward soybean expansion continues into the departments of Caazapa, San Pedro, and Caaguazu, replacing forests and pastureland. Pressure to expand is causing soybeans to replace pastureland in the north-east, central, and south-eastern regions. Deforestation has virtually reached its conclusion in eastern Paraguay, where only about 7% of Paraguay Interior Atlantic Forest remains.
Agribusiness accounts for 20% of Paraguay GDP, and soybeans are almost 70% of its annual agricultural production. As of 2003, soy accounted for US $800 million of Paraguay $1.3 billion total exports, and is higher today.
Soybean producers expect to surpass last year record crop and increase their soybean harvest by 10%, according to the Federation of Production Cooperatives (FECOPROD) of Paraguay. The goal for 2007 was to harvest 6.2 million tons of soybeans, with a planned increase to 6.8 million tons this year.
Source: USDA

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