Friday, September 27, 2019

Brazilian Drought and Coffee Harvest Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 2250 words

Brazilian Drought and Coffee Harvest - Essay Example This occurrence immediately became major news to the market economy and the consumers, because of the change that would occur in the marketing system. What actually occurred during this circumstance was a surge of heavy rains which lashed Brazil for several days, causing a major drought, and isolating hundreds of people and destroying crops. "Farmers reported that 40 percent of their tobacco, bean and corn crops had been destroyed by the floodwaters that inundated fields in the western half of the state." (Associated Press, 2000). The October 2000 drought was an incredibly serious and devastating event in many different ways for Brazil. In order to understand these reasons and to come to a clearer and more knowledgeable viewpoint on the subject matter, certain matters in regards to the drought itself, how it affected Brazil, and what plans are for the future must all be thoroughly discussed. The aim of this paper is to focus on all of these elements, while answering questions such as why, how, when, and will come in the future due to this situation. This is what will be dissertated in the following. Coffee is the second most commonly traded commodity in the world, trailing second only to petroleum. The first coffee plantation in the world was in fact established in Brazil in 1727, and Brazil cultivates coffee as a commercial commodity. They relied heavily on slave labor from Africa for its viability until abolition in 1888. For many decades in the 19th and 20th centuries, Brazil was the biggest producer and virtual monopolist in the coffee trade, and remained that way, until a policy of maintaining high prices soon opened opportunities to other growers, like Colombia, Guatemala and Indonesia. Brazil is located in East Central North America and occupies approximately 50% of the South American continent. Brazil is bound by Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana to the north, Colombia to the northwest, Peru, Bolivia, and Paraguay to the west, Argentina to the southwest, Uruguay to the south and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Brazil has a tropical and subtropical climate characterized by high temperatures and anywhere from moderate to heavy rainfall. Rainfall is usually evenly distributed throughout the year, and the nationwide average annual precipitation varies between 1,010 mm (40 inches) and 2,030 mm (80 inches). There is an interior of Brazil's northeastern region which is known as the 'Drought Polygon'. It is "an irregular shaped region where people live under recurring threat of severe drought." ("Brazil", n.d.). This drought polygon is the driest part of the country, and it encompasses roughly 10 percent of the entire country's territory. "In this region, rainfall is undependable and the evaporation rate is very high, making it difficult to raise crops." ("Land", n.d.). Brazil is the world's biggest producer of green coffee beans with an approximate market share of 30 percent. Depending highly on weather conditions, Brazil produces and exports about 30 million bags of coffee beans annually. Approximately 85% of Brazilian coffee exports are Arabica coffee, which is also considered to be one of the highest quality; even more so than Robusta coffee - which demands higher prices. Brazilian coffee is characterized by the diversity in tastes depending upon geographic regions of the coffee's origin. The United States and Germany are the world's largest

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