São Paulo, 15 de December de 2022
The soy area has practically tripled over the last 21 years, going from 7.43 million hectares in 2000/01 to 21.43 million hectares in 2021/22. This area represents almost 11% of the Biome and 51.7% of Brazil’s current soy area, according to the CONAB (National Supply Company) survey (41.45 million hectares), and 50.0% according to Agrosatélite’s survey based on satellite images (42.85 million hectares). The average growth rate in the period 2001-2022 was 0.667 million hectares per year; however, this average annual rate has increased over the last two years to 1.321 million hectares (1.172 million hectares in 2020/21 and 1.470 million hectares in 2021/22).
In terms of the dynamics of the change in land use, the Cerrado Biome includes the MATOPIBA region – Brazil’s largest agricultural frontier – where soy expansion with conversion of native vegetation is increasing, compared with the more consolidated regions of the Cerrado Biome, herein called Other States. In MATOPIBA, the soy area went from 0.965 million hectares in 2000/01 to 5.086 million hectares in 2021/22, more than a fivefold increase, taking this region’s share in the Cerrado’s soy area from 13% to 24%. In Other States, the soy area went from 6.47 million hectares in 2000/01 to 16.35 million hectares in 2021/22, a 2.5-fold increase representing 76% of the Cerrado’s current soy area.
The deforestation rates in the Cerrado Biome, which in the early 2000s were around 2.8 million hectares per year, have been relatively stable over the last six years with an annual average rate of 0.74 million hectares, almost four times lower. In addition to the lower deforestation rates seen in recent years, there is a marked difference between the MATOPIBA and Other States regions. If in the early 2000s the Other States region contributed 70% of the deforestation, it now contributes only 35%, despite covering over two-thirds of the Cerrado’s territory.
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