Brazil is presently in seventh place in the world ranking of planted forests area. Altogether there are 5.5 million hectares of forest plantations in the country (which works out to slightly less than 9% of the country’s total farmland).
In 2005 a total of 550,000 hectares of forests were planted, a increase of 19% over 2004.
Data from the Association of Planted Forests Producers (ABRAF) shows that the sector employs 4.1 million people, directly or indirectly, which is 10.5% of the country’s economically active population.
"This is a growth sector and the tendency is to continue growing in the near future," says Carlos Aguiar, the ABRAF president. "The sector is highly modernized and has invested heavily in research. We expect to double the area of planted forests by the year 2016."
Minas Gerais led the country in area of planted forests in 2005 with 157,000 hectares, an increase of 12% over 2004. In the state the sector employs 163,00 directly and another 644,000 indirectly. Other states with high level of forest planting are São Paulo and Bahia.
The area of Brazil’s planted forests is equal to 8.5% of the country’s total farmland at the moment. However, planted forests generate over 10% of the jobs in the agribusiness sector, 14% of the country’s exports and more than 10% of sector GDP.
Speaking at the 3rd Brazilian Congress on Sustainable Development for the Forest Industry and Generation of Energy, also known as Madeira (Wood) 2006, the Brazilian Minister of Agriculture, Roberto Rodrigues, pointed out that the planted forest sector is very efficient.
"It occupies less than 10% of the country’s farmland area but produces more than 10% in all segments: jobs, exports and GDP," said the minister.
Specialists at the congress discussed public policy for the sector, along with the impact of planted forests on the economy, society and the environment. Also on the agenda: renewable energy, the paper and cellulose industry, ecological conservation and sustainability.
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