The New Face of Brazilian Pig Production – Social and Economic Importance

In terms of importance as an economic activity, only in the domestic market, production of pigs is responsible for a gross value of production of R$21,714,573,739.00 (December 2007). In terms of foreign currency, this activity is coming, especially in the early years of the new century, as one of the most important in the Brazilian agribusiness. In 2007 pig production was responsible for the export of R$ 1,232,210,000.00 (R$ 2,490,004,184.00 for values up to December 2007), which represented that year 0.77% of total exports, 2.20% of exports of agribusiness and 3.78% of balance in the trade balance.
Besides being an activity that generates income and currencies for the national economy, pig production is extremely important for the generation of urban jobs and to support family production, with particular reference to southern Brazil. In terms of formal employment in industrial production (slaughter and processing of meat of pigs and poultry), 241,878 jobs were generated. The activity has also generated 80,431 jobs in the formal primary production of pigs. The number of formal jobs in pig production does not reflect the importance of this activity in Brazil. Rural activity in Brazil is still surrounded by a culture of low formal employment, mainly due to the fact that family production in this sector is still very dominant. Indeed, in the case of swine, especially in southern Brazil, production occurs predominantly in family properties where the figure of the owner and the staff is confused.
According to the 2006 agricultural census, 79.74% of pigs sold were from properties with total area less than 100 ha. In the case of poultry this figure was 84.59%. In Santa Catarina, which is the state with greater emphasis on the production of poultry and pigs in Brazil, this indicator was 97.28% for poultry and 91.90% in swine. Thus, the high concentration of the pig herds in properties with up to 100 hectares shows the character of family activity. Moreover, according to the agricultural census in 2006, approximately one million and four thousand farms were involved in pig production. Assuming only properties with more than 100 animals of herd (industrial or semi-industrial pig production) be taken into account, then this number drops to below 150,000 which is still a significant number.
Studies conducted by the National Bank of Economic and Social Development (BNDES) demonstrate the great multiplier effect of meat production chains in Brazil. In this study, each unit of direct employment generated in the slaughter and processing of meat had a multiplier power in employment of 10.3, taking into account the indirect effects and the income effects. Thus, given a direct employment of 241,878 jobs in the slaughtering and processing of poultry
and pig, we can estimate a total employment of about 2,495,114 people, which includes 1,326,309 indirect jobs and 926,927 jobs generated by the income effect. As pig production in Brazil is lower than the production of chickens (about one third), the number of jobs
follows roughly the same proportion.

By Santos Filho, J.I.; Bertol, T.M.
Click here to Access Dr. Jonas Irineu dos Santos Filho’s email.
Click here to Access Dra. Teresinha Marisa Bertol’s email.
Click here to Access more information about Pig Production in Brazil (Embrapa Suínos e Aves).

Source: © CAB International 2010, Pig News and Information 31 (1), 1– 8

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