Brazil’s Flower Exports Grow 9.6%, But Below Expectations

    Brazilian flowers and ornamental plants exports yielded US$ 25.75 million in 2005, an increase in 9.58% in comparison to 2004. The information was released Friday, January 20, by the consulting firm Hórtica, from São Paulo.

    The increase, however, according to Hórtica, was below the sector’s forecasts.

    According to a report signed by the agronomy engineer Antonio Hélio Junqueira and the economist Marcia da Silva Peetz, the forecasts pointed to exports worth US$ 27 million in the year, which would represent an increase in 15% in relation to 2004.

    The appreciation of the Brazilian Real in relation to the American dollar, which in thesis makes Brazilian products more expensive abroad, was pointed by them as the reason for the results to have been below expectations.

    A pioneering study by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) in Rio de Janeiro on the production of flowers and ornamental plants in Brazil, released at the end of 2004, confirms that this activity already employs, on the average, double the number of workers engaged in agriculture and livestock-raising and predominates on properties with less than 10 hectares.

    Based on the 1995-96 Agricultural Census, the study, Characterization of the Brazilian Flower and Ornamental Plant Productive Sector, is the first investigation of its type on a sector which has great export potential and which, according to the IBGE, represents a significant alternative for the generation of jobs and income on small properties.

    The study discovered 7,561 properties, leased lands, partnerships, or rural occupancies that, between August, 1995, and July, 1996, earned US$ 108.6 million, US$ 65.7 million of which came from the production of flowers and ornamental plants on a total area of 434,935 hectares.

    Of the 2,963 rural establishments in which the production of flowers and ornamental plants was the principal activity, the vast majority (1,941) had less than 10 hectares, and 10,014 of the 21,844 employees of these establishments worked on properties with fewer than 10 hectares of occupied area.

    The average number of workers per establishment was 7.4, double the average for Brazilian agriculture as a whole (3.7 workers per establishment).

    Anba, ABr

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