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After the country discovery and the initial cycle of wood exploitation, the colonists established the agricultural in the country, based on sugarcane, followed by tobacco, cotton and coffee. The arrival of the Portuguese royal family and court to Brazil lead to a stimulus of diversification and improvement of the local economy. However, the Brazilian economy continued as in the colonial period, administered by the aristocracy and based on slave labor. Due to the reliance of the economy on agriculture and crops such as coffee, Brazil´s development was held back until the late 19th century.
In the mid-twentieth century, the cultivation of crops mainly for oversea markets reflected locally in an external dependence on food supply for the population of Brazil. The large expenses of land and non-technical cheap rural labor force, plus the large estate agrarian structure in the late 1950s, partly explains the technological stagnation of agriculture. By the 70´s, changes in agriculture production were determined by a pattern of industrial accumulation, supported by agroindustrial complexes or agro-systems, the so called "green revolution" (high inputs of fertilizers, mechanized systems and melioration of plants for high production).
The modernization of Brazilian agriculture occurred through reductions in government control and subsiding of agriculture, leading to greater trade openness, the international reference of agricultural markets to the local production. This phase surpassed the technological standards of the previous (green revolution) and established new scientific paradigms (based on information and biotechnology), among other factors.
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Sociedade Brasileira de Ciência do Solo (SBCS)
Departamento de Solos - Edifício Sílvio Brandão, s/n
Cx.P. 231 - Campus da UFV CEP 36570-900 - Viçosa-MG
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