Home Agribusiness Merger of the Ministries of Agriculture and the Environment Divides Landowners

Merger of the Ministries of Agriculture and the Environment Divides Landowners

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Blairo Maggi, Brazilian Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply

One wing defends end of ‘ideology in licensing’, another sees risk for agribusiness

The merger of the Ministries of Agriculture and the Environment is not a consensus in the agribusiness sector. For some, this union will bring to agriculture specific environmental problems that should not be addressed in the agricultural sector.

Environmental guidelines of various industrial sectors, such as those of chemistry and mining, will be added to those of agriculture.

For others, since Jair Bolsonaro wants to reduce the number of ministries, this fusion of Agriculture and Environment can be a way.

“It’s a misconception.” This is the assessment of Deputy Arnaldo Jardim, former Secretary of Agriculture of the state of Sao Paulo and for years engaged in the agribusiness sector.

“Bringing the Ministry of the Environment to the field of agriculture is to fail to have the focus where it needs to be: in urban centers.” Agriculture has its environmental rules and one of the examples is that, more and more, it generates clean energy for the country, he says.

Antonio Galvan CEO of State of Mato Grosso Soybean and Corn Producers Association (Aprosoja) agrees with the union. “The environmental issue has become an internal ideology that tries to disrupt our work.”

According to him, nobody wants to commit illegalities in this sector, but there must be agility in environmental processes. The delays in approvals hinder not only the private sector but also the public works of the country.

“We must remove the ideology of these discussions,” he says. “The attempt to unite the ministries is valid. It should create a secretariat within the Ministry of Agriculture, but that it has agility.”

The future minister who will take over these unified portfolios may actually lose focus on the specific issues of agriculture.

In the last two years, the Minister of Agriculture, Blairo Maggi, has spent much of his time putting out fires in the sector.

Several operations of the Federal Police pointed out deviations in the sanitary control and quality of the meat of some companies.

On the Environment side, the scenario was also not quiet, especially after the rupture of the Mariana dam (MG). There will be many, and quite diverse, problems to be faced.