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Sugarcane and Coffee in the Extreme Southern Region of Bahia, Brazil: A Spatio-Temporal Analysis and Socioeconomic Factors

Abstract

The região extremo sul da Bahia (RESB - Extreme Southern Region of Bahia) has agricultural aptitude for several crops and has already been subjected to the expansion of sugarcane and coffee. Thus, this work analyzes the spatial and temporal dynamics of sugarcane and coffee monocultures in the RESB and their relationship with socioeconomic indices. The methodology consists of collection and analysis of data from the Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística (IBGE), which is the main provider of geographic information and statistics in Brazil, the Companhia Nacional de Abastecimento (CONAB), which is responsible for providing technical information to support decision-making regarding the elaboration of policies aimed at agriculture and the Atlas Brasil platform. Data were collected regarding the planted area and the amount of sugarcane and coffee produced in the region between 1988 and 2019. To understand the relationship between expansion and socioeconomic factors, data related to gross domestic product (GDP) and municipal human development index (MHDI) were collected. This study identified the main sugarcane-producing municipalities (Caravelas, Mucuri, Medeiros Neto, Nova Viçosa, Lajedão, Ibirapuã and Santa Cruz Cabrália) and coffee (Prado, Itamaraju, Porto Seguro, Eunapolis, Teixeira de Freitas and Itabela). The expansion of these crops presents economic importance for the region, but presents a little contribution to the improvement of the various factors that make up the MHDI of the municipalities. This study concluded that the expansion of these crops changed the agricultural matrix of the region due to its specialization in the production of these crops to the detriment of others such as cocoa, for example.

Keywords
Agricultural expansion; Monoculture; Agricultural frontier; Socio-economic indices

Resumo

A Região Extremo Sul da Bahia (RESB) possui aptidão agrícola para diversas culturas e já foi sujeita à expansão da cana-de-açúcar e do café. Assim, esse trabalho analisa a dinâmica espacial e temporal das monoculturas da cana-de-açúcar e do café na RESB e sua relação com índices socioeconômicos. A metodologia consiste em coleta e análise dos dados junto ao Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística (IBGE), que é o principal provedor de informações geográficas e estatísticas do Brasil, a Companhia Nacional de Abastecimento (CONAB), que é responsável por fornecer informações técnicas para apoiar a tomada de decisão sobre a elaboração de políticas voltadas para a agricultura, e a Plataforma Atlas Brasil. Foram coletados dados sobre a área plantada e a quantidade produzida de cana-de-açúcar e de café na região entre os anos 1988 e 2019. Para compreender a relação entre a expansão e os fatores socioeconômicos, foram levantados dados referentes ao Produto Interno Bruto (PIB) e Índice de Desenvolvimento Humano Municipal (IDHM). Este trabalho identificou os principais municípios produtores de cana-de-açúcar (Caravelas, Mucuri, Medeiros Neto, Nova Viçosa, Lajedão, Ibirapuã e Santa Cruz Cabrália) e de café (Prado, Itamaraju, Porto Seguro, Eunápolis, Teixeira de Freitas e Itabela), e a expansão desses cultivos apresenta importância econômica para a região, porém apresenta pouca contribuição para a melhoria dos diversos fatores que compõem o IDHM dos municípios. Esse estudo concluiu que a expansão desses cultivos alterou a matriz agrícola da região devido a sua especialização na produção desses cultivos em detrimento de outros como o cacau, por exemplo.

Palavras-chave:
Expansão agrícola; Monocultura; Fronteira agrícola; Índices socioeconômicos

INTRODUCTION

The região extremo sul da Bahia (RESB - Extreme Southern Region of Bahia in English) presents favorable factors for the expansion of sugarcane and coffee, as it adjoins the mesoregion of the Vale do Mucuri, which is located in the northeast of the state of Minas Gerais, and which stands out for its production of sugarcane; and adjoins the state of Espírito Santo, which is responsible for the about 72.45% of the national production of conilon coffee (FASSIO; SILVA, 2007FASSIO, L. H.; SILVA, A. E. S. Importância econômica e social o café Conilon. 2007. In: FERRÃO, R. G.; FONSECA, A. F. A.; BRAGANÇA, S. M.; FERRÃO, M. A. G.; DE MUNER, L. H. (Ed.). Café Conilon. Vitória: Incaper, 38-40 p., 2007. Disponível em: https://biblioteca.incaper.es.gov.br/digital/handle/item/694. Acesso em: 08 out. 2022.
https://biblioteca.incaper.es.gov.br/dig...
). This favorability can be explained by the fact that Brazilian microregions close to those that have a high concentration in the production of the same commodity have greater opportunities to maintain their high production for a long time, in addition to forming clusters of regional producers (SOUZA; PEROBELLI, 2007SOUZA. R. M.; PEROBELLI, F. S. Diagnóstico espacial da concentração produtiva do café no Brasil, no período de 1991 a 2003. Revista de Economia e Agronegócio. v. 5, p. 353-377. 2007. https://doi.org/10.25070/rea.v5i3.109.
https://doi.org/10.25070/rea.v5i3.109...
).

The monoculture of sugarcane was the first major economic cycle of the RESB until the middle of the sixteenth century, a fact that contributed to its settlement (DOMPIERI et al., 2020DOMPIERI, M. H. G. et al., 2020. Análise do avanço e retração de cultivos agrícolas no extremo sul da Bahia, a partir do modelo Shift-Share. Revista Econômica do Nordeste, Fortaleza, v. 51, n. 3, p. 9-24, jul./set. 2020. Disponível em: https://ainfo.cnptia.embrapa.br/digital/bitstream/item/218597/1/5373.pdf. Acesso em: 10 maio 2021.
https://ainfo.cnptia.embrapa.br/digital/...
). This region is one of the main producers of sugarcane in Bahia and presents seven of the ten municipalities that had the largest harvested area of sugarcane in 2017 (IBGE, 2017).

Sugarcane production is mainly located in two areas of the region, one located further north, in the municipalities of Santa Cruz Cabrália and Eunápolis, with little representation, and another in the south, in the municipalities of Medeiros Neto, Caravelas, Lajedão and Ibirapuã, with greater representation (SEMA; LIMA, 2011SEMA - Secretaria do Meio Ambiente; LIMA - Laboratório Interdisciplinar de Meio Ambiente. Avaliação Ambiental Estratégica dos Planos de Expansão da Silvicultura de Eucalipto e Biocombustíveis no Extremo Sul da Bahia. 2011. 481 pp. Disponível em: http://www.lima.coppe.ufrj.br/images/documentos/projetos/03_diagnosti.pdf. Aceso em: 10 fev. 2021.
http://www.lima.coppe.ufrj.br/images/doc...
).

Coffee production, on the other hand, originated from the experience of producers from Espírito Santo (SILVA et al., 2017SILVA et al. Colheita e pós-colheita do café conilon. In: FERRÃO, R. G. et al. Café Conilon. Vitória, Espírito Santo. 2017. p. 495-507. Disponível em: http://portalcoffea.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Livro-Cafe-Conilon-2a-Edicao.pdf. Acesso em: 14 mar. 2021.
http://portalcoffea.com/wp-content/uploa...
). Initially, these farmers occupied the areas destined for livestock farming and made coffee one of the crops that presents the most demand for land in the region (MALINA, 2013MALINA, L. L. A territorialização do monopólio no setor celulósico-papeleiro: a atuação da Veracel Celulose no Extremo Sul da Bahia. 2013. Dissertação (Mestrado em Geografia Humana) - Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo. Disponível em: https://www.teses.usp.br/teses/disponiveis/8/8136/tde-18022014-152910/pt-br.php. Acesso em: 10 fev. 2021.
https://www.teses.usp.br/teses/disponive...
). They were attracted by the low investments regarding the cost of land, a fact that promoted a satisfactory performance in the production of conilon coffee in this region (VEGRO et al., 2017VEGRO, C. L. R.; SANTOS, E. H.; LEME, P. H. Mercado e Comercialização do Café Conilon. In: FERRÃO, R. G. et al (ed.). Café conilon. Vitória - ES: INCAPER, 2017. p. 601-620. Disponível em: http://biblioteca.incaper.es.gov.br/digital/handle/123456789/3114. Acesso em: 10 out. 2022.
http://biblioteca.incaper.es.gov.br/digi...
). These producers benefit from the technology developed by the Instituto Capixaba de Pesquisa, Assistência Técnica e Extensão Rural (INCAPER) and the Cooperativa Agrária de Cafeicultores de São Gabriel (COOABRIEL) (IBGE, 2016IBGE - Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística. A geografia do café: dinâmica territorial da produção agropecuária. Rio de Janeiro: IBGE. 2016. E-book (36 p.). ISBN 978-85-240-4401-4. Disponível em: https://biblioteca.ibge.gov.br/index.php/biblioteca-catalogo?view=detalhes&id=299002. Acesso em: 10 jan. 2021.
https://biblioteca.ibge.gov.br/index.php...
), which are institutions aimed at supporting conilon coffee producers in Espírito Santo. Thus, the municipalities of the RESB became the main producers of conilon coffee in Bahia.

It should also be noted that the establishment and development of these crops in the RESB are also attributed to the characteristics related to climate, soil and water availability, as well as the changes promoted in agricultural production systems, the training of professionals responsible for technical assistance and the social organization involved in the production process (DOMPIERI et al., 2020DOMPIERI, M. H. G. et al., 2020. Análise do avanço e retração de cultivos agrícolas no extremo sul da Bahia, a partir do modelo Shift-Share. Revista Econômica do Nordeste, Fortaleza, v. 51, n. 3, p. 9-24, jul./set. 2020. Disponível em: https://ainfo.cnptia.embrapa.br/digital/bitstream/item/218597/1/5373.pdf. Acesso em: 10 maio 2021.
https://ainfo.cnptia.embrapa.br/digital/...
).

Although the increase of sugarcane and coffee production areas in the RESB and their importance to it is notable, there is a shortage of studies on this phenomenon and its interaction with socioeconomic factors. In this sense, the justification of this work consists in verifying the dynamics of the expansion of sugarcane and coffee in the RESB and its contribution to the elaboration of public policies aimed at territorial planning in the region. The study’s objective is to analyze the spatial and temporal dynamics of sugarcane and coffee monocultures in the RESB and its relationship with local socioeconomic indices.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

The study area of this work consists of the main sugarcane and coffee-producing municipalities of the RESB, located in the southern portion of the state of Bahia, bordering to the south with the north of the state of Espírito Santo, to the west with the state of Minas Gerais, to the north with the economic regions in southwestern Bahia and on the southern coast, and to the east with the shores of the Atlantic Ocean (SEI, 2019SEI- Superintendência de Estudos Econômicos e Sociais da Bahia. Regiões Econômicas: Estado da Bahia. 2019. Disponível em: https://www.sei.ba.gov.br/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2600&Itemid=661. Acesso em: 10 jun. 2021.
https://www.sei.ba.gov.br/index.php?opti...
).

This study used data referring to the period from 1988 to 2019 and the choice of this period was due to the availability of data for municipal agricultural production (MAP), in the database of the Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística (IBGE). It is important to highlight that all the variables of this study were analyzed within this period. However, it was not possible to reconcile the dates of all variables due to the absence of data in the different databases.

First, a survey of the main agricultural products of the RESB was carried out for the elaboration of its agricultural matrix, in order to present the context in which the expansion of sugarcane and coffee occurs and to elucidate the current relevance of the crops under study in the RESB. For this, the main agricultural products for the year 2019 were considered; however, the areas destined for eucalyptus production were not included in this analysis. The elaboration of the agricultural matrix of the region was performed based on data for the planted areas of the various crops produced in the RESB and their percentage of occupation.

Planted area (ha) and production (t) data were used to analyze the expansion of sugarcane and coffee. The data were obtained for MAP from the IBGE database.

The mapping of coffee and sugarcane expansion was developed with the support of the free software QGIS, version 3.10.14 LTR (Long-term release repository). The coordinate system in the datum SIRGAS 2000, code EPSG 31984 was adopted. Files in shapefile format were acquired from the continuous cartographic base of Brazil, at scale 1:250,000, version 2019, from IBGE. The analysis of the maps was carried out from the categorization of the data in the QGIS software to highlight the main municipalities that produce coffee and sugarcane in the region.

For socioeconomic analysis, gross domestic product (GDP) and Municipal Human Development Index (MHDI) data were used, and their growth rates were calculated starting from the 1990s.

GDP values were obtained from the Sistema de Recuperação Automática of IBGE (SIDRA) for the years 1999, 2009 and 2018, since no data were found for GDP from 1988 onwards. In addition, data were obtained on the agricultural activities that contribute to GDP by municipalities for the year 2018 on the IBGE Interactive Geographic Platform.

MHDI data were obtained from municipalities of the RESB for the years 1991, 2000 and 2010. It was not possible to obtain data for years prior to the 1990s, as the MHDI was first published in 1990. These data were obtained from the Atlas do Desenvolvimento Humano (PNUD). The MHDI is calculated from the geometric mean of the MHDI of longevity, education and income. For its analysis, the PNUD/IPEA classification (2013) was adopted, considering it as: very low MHDI (between 0.000-0.499), low MHDI (between 0.500-0.599), medium MHDI (between 0.600-0.699), high MHDI (between 0.700-0.799) and very high MHDI (between 0.800-1.000).

To analyze the population dynamics, data on the urban and rural populations between 1980 and 2010 were obtained from the IBGE database. The analysis was carried out based on the interpretation of the data related to the calculation of the percentage of urban and rural populations in this period.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Agricultural matrix and expansion of sugarcane and coffee in the RESB

The main agricultural products produced in 2019 in the RESB were banana, rubber, cocoa, coffee, sugarcane, coconut, beans, orange, papaya, cassava, passion fruit, watermelon, maize, hearts of palm, black pepper and annatto.

Analyzing the agricultural matrix of the region (Figure 1), it is noted that sugarcane (33%) occupies first place in terms of planted area; coffee (27%) occupies second place, and third place is occupied by cocoa (19%) and the rest corresponds to other agricultural crops. Thus, the region stands out for its agricultural production of sugarcane and coffee, with only Coffea canephora being produced in the region.

Figure 1
Percentage of planted area (ha) of agricultural products in the extreme southern region of Bahia

Comparing the values of 2019 with previous years, it can be seen that sugarcane and coffee have been expanding since 1988 (Figure 2), both in terms of planted area (hectares) and production (tons). This expansion is justified due to macroeconomic policies and increased national and international demands, which have boosted the agricultural sector since the 1990s (EMBRAPA, 2018EMBRAPA - Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária. Visão 2030: O futuro da agricultura brasileira. Brasília: Embrapa, 2018. p. 212. Disponível em: https://www.embrapa.br/busca-de-publicacoes/-/publicacao/1090820/visao-2030-o-futuro-da-agricultura-brasileira. Acesso em: 14 maio 2021.
https://www.embrapa.br/busca-de-publicac...
).

Figure 2
Planted area (ha) and quantity (t) of sugarcane (A), coffee (B) and cocoa (C) produced in the extreme southern region of Bahia

On the other hand, there was a reduction in the planted area and in the production of cocoa, which was previously considered the main agricultural product of the region. Although the RESB contributed to Bahia’s cocoa farming, along with the Ilhéus-Itabuna production center, it lost strength due to investments by large timber companies and ranchers from Espírito Santo and Minas Gerais (CERQUEIRA NETO, 2013CERQUEIRA NETO, S. P. G. Construção geográfica do Extremo Sul da Bahia. Revista de Geografia, Recife, v. 30, n. 1, p. 246-264, 2013.) and also due to by the witch’s broom attacking the cocoa crop.

The data indicate that the growth of the planted area and production of sugarcane in the RESB has occurred since 1996 and 1997, respectively. The explanation for this growth is associated with the fact that Brazil became the world's largest producer of sugarcane in the 1980s, mainly due to the increase in domestic sugar consumption as a result of Brazilian industrialization and the emergence of ethanol as a new energy source (DIAS, 2021DIAS, F. F. Alguns elementos sobre a cadeia produtiva da cana-de-açúcar no Brasil. Revista Geosul, Florianópolis, v. 36, n. 79, p. 116-142, mai./ago. 2021. https://doi.org/10.5007/2177-5230.2021.e73805.
https://doi.org/10.5007/2177-5230.2021.e...
).

From 1988, there was growth in the area for coffee planting, with a growth rate of more than 1,000% until 2019. Despite the intense droughts that occurred in Bahia in the years prior to 2014, the RESB showed an increase in productivity, mainly due to the adherence of producers to the most productive clones, the renovation of old areas, the improvement in phytosanitary treatment, technological improvement and improvements in the spacing of growing areas (CONAB, 2014CONAB - Companhia Nacional de Abastecimento. Acompanhamento da safra brasileira (safra 2014): café. v. 1, (3), 11-12, 2014. Disponível em: https://www.conab.gov.br/info-agro/safras/cafe/boletim-da-safra-de-cafe?start=30. Acesso em: 10 out. 2021.
https://www.conab.gov.br/info-agro/safra...
, p.12). This reveals that the structure for the production of Espírito Santo’s conilon coffee is a positive factor for the advances of coffee farming in the RESB.

The reduction in planted area (ha) and coffee production in 2019 compared to the previous cycle results from the eradication of low-productive crops (BRAINER, 2019, pBRAINER, M. S. C. P. Analise de aspectos da produção e mercado de café. Caderno Setorial ETENE, Fortaleza. n. 106, dez. 2019. Disponível em: https://www.bnb.gov.br/s482-dspace/bitstream/123456789/223/1/2019_CDS_106.pdf. Acesso em: 20 fev. 2022.
https://www.bnb.gov.br/s482-dspace/bitst...
.6). This can be explained by the economic losses caused by the attack of pests such as the woodboring beetle and poor climatic conditions, which caused physiological stress and impaired the formation of the fruits of the coffee tree (CONAB, 2019CONAB - Companhia Nacional de Abastecimento. Acompanhamento da safra brasileira (safra 2019): café. v. 1, (1), 37, 2019. Disponível em: https://www.conab.gov.br/info-agro/safras/cafe/boletim-da-safra-de-cafe?start=30. Acesso em: 10 out. 2021.
https://www.conab.gov.br/info-agro/safra...
, p. 37).

Mapping of planted area (ha) and production (t) of sugarcane and coffee by municipalities in the RESB

The mapping of the expansion of sugarcane plantations (Figure 3) indicates that, in 1988, only the municipalities of Santa Cruz Cabrália and Porto Seguro were the main producers of sugarcane, although other municipalities had a planted area of less than 2,000 ha. While, in 1998, these municipalities lost prominence, giving way to other municipalities, such as Mucuri, Medeiros Neto, Nova Viçosa and Caravelas, followed by the municipality of Eunápolis.

Figure 3
Expansion of planted area (ha) and production (t) of sugarcane in the extreme southern region of Bahia (1988-2019)

The displacement of sugarcane production to the municipalities of the southern portion of the RESB formed a production center for this crop that was consolidated until 2019, including the municipalities of: Caravelas, Mucuri, Ibirapuã, Nova Viçosa, Lajedão and Medeiros Neto. These six municipalities, together with Santa Cruz Cabrália, correspond to the main sugarcane-producing municipalities of the RESB.

The RESB comprises four of the seven ethanol production plants in Bahia (Figure 4) (UNIÃO NACIONAL DA BIOENERGIA, 2020UNIÃO NACIONAL DA BIOENERGIA. Usinas/ Destilarias no mundo. 2020. Disponível em: https://www.udop.com.br/index.php?item=unidades&cn=am&id_pais=1. Acesso em: 28 dez. 2021.
https://www.udop.com.br/index.php?item=u...
). This expansion of planted area occurred near the areas where the hydrated and anhydrous ethanol production plants were installed, since six of the seven largest sugarcane-producing municipalities in the RESB are located near these plants. Thus, the presence of ethanol production plants in the RESB (UNIÃO NACIONAL DA BIOENERGIA, 2020UNIÃO NACIONAL DA BIOENERGIA. Usinas/ Destilarias no mundo. 2020. Disponível em: https://www.udop.com.br/index.php?item=unidades&cn=am&id_pais=1. Acesso em: 28 dez. 2021.
https://www.udop.com.br/index.php?item=u...
) contributes to this region becoming a biofuel production hub.

Figure 4
Ethanol production plants in municipalities of the extreme southern region of Bahia

This trend can be observed in other sugarcane-producing regions, such as the mesoregion of the Triângulo Mineiro/Alto Paranaíba, where the municipalities that concentrate sugarcane production have mills either installed in their territories or located in their surroundings (MATOS; MARAFON, 2018MATOS, P. F.; MARAFON, G. J. O setor sucroenergético no Brasil: efeitos e contradições. In: MARAFON, G. J.; ARIAS, L. Q.; SÁNCHEZ, M. A. (org.), Parte I- Estudos territoriais no Brasil e na Costa Rica (online). Rio de Janeiro, 2018. p. 41-59. https://doi.org/10.7476/9788575114995.0003
https://doi.org/10.7476/9788575114995.00...
).

The mapping of the expansion of coffee-planted areas in the RESB for the years 1988, 1998, 2008 and 2019 (Figure 5) indicates that, in 1988, only the municipalities of Guaratinga, Itamaraju and Itanhém had a planted area greater than 500 hectares, with emphasis on the municipality of Itamaraju, in terms of coffee production.

Figure 5
Mapping the expansion of planted area (ha) and production (t) of coffee in the extreme southern region of Bahia (1988-2019)

In 1998, the municipality of Itamaraju was still the main coffee producer along with the municipality of Prado, followed by the municipalities of Itabela, Guaratinga, Jucuruçu, Itanhém and Teixeira de Freitas. The two municipalities maintain a prominent position in terms of planted areas of coffee in 2008, together with the municipality of Itabela.

In 2019, Prado and Itamaraju were the municipalities with the largest planted area of coffee, followed by the municipalities of Eunápolis, Porto Seguro, Itabela and Teixeira de Freitas, totaling the six main coffee producing municipalities in the RESB.

It should be noted that, in the period under analysis, although sugarcane and coffee crops are present in most municipalities of the RESB concomitantly, the largest areas planted for each crop are concentrated in different municipalities, and there are no municipalities with emphasis on a greater number of areas planted for both monocultures. This productive specialization in some places may occur due to the imposition of rules on production relations by the international market (TOLEDO, 2017TOLEDO, M. R. Especialização regional produtiva e a atual organização da agricultura no Brasil. Geografia, Londrina. v. 26. n. 2, p. 98-115. Jul./dez. 2017. http://dx.doi.org/10.5433/2447-1747.2017v26n2p98.
https://doi.org/10.5433/2447-1747.2017v2...
). This means that due to the worldwide demand for sugarcane and coffee, boosts their production in areas producing these crops

One fact observed in the scenario of the expansion of sugarcane and coffee is the concentration of the main producing municipalities in certain zones of the RESB. The formation of a nucleus located to the south of the region for the production of sugarcane was observed near the ethanol plants and another area where the coffee-producing municipalities are concentrated. This spatial distribution of the main producing municipalities reveals the non-competition between the production of the two crops, since a municipality that stands out in the production of sugarcane does not stand out in the production of coffee.

Gross domestic product (GDP) of sugarcane- and coffee-producing municipalities in the RESB

Analyzing the percentage contribution of the agricultural activity of the municipalities of the RESB to the municipal GDP between 1999 and 2009, it was found that most presented values higher than the percentage contribution of agriculture to the GDP of Bahia and Brazil. This reveals the importance of the participation of agriculture in the GDP of the RESB (Table 1).

The municipalities with the highest growth rate between 1999 and 2018 for the total GDP of the region are Ibirapuã, Porto Seguro, Eunápolis, Santa Cruz Cabrália, Teixeira de Freitas and Itapebi. It is observed that Eunápolis and Teixeira de Freitas present a market for other economic activities, as they installed industrial districts, mainly focused on logging and pulp and paper production, in 1993 and 1998, respectively (DIAS, 2019DIAS, M. S. Geografia histórica, cidade e memória: Narrativas que revelam a formação territorial de Itabatã (BA). 209 f. 2019. Dissertação (Mestrado em Arquitetura e Urbanismo) - Universidade do Espírito Santo, Espírito Santo, 2019. Disponível em: http://repositorio.ufes.br/bitstream/10/11389/1/tese_13144_MAIARA%20DIAS%20-%20VERS%c3%83O%20FINAL.pdf. Acesso em: 30 nov. 2021.
http://repositorio.ufes.br/bitstream/10/...
).

Thus, the growth in GDP in the region between 1996 and 2010 is due to the increase in the export of pulp and paper and the contribution of the industrial sector focused on the production of alcohol (LEONEL, 2016LEONEL, M. S. Extremo Sul da Bahia: caracterização socioeconômica e os impactos da expansão do setor de base florestal. 2016. Tese (Doutorado em Economia do Centro de Desenvolvimento e Planejamento Regional) - Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Minas Gerais. Disponível em: https://repositorio.ufmg.br/handle/1843/FACE-ADBH5J. Acesso em: 14 maio 2022.
https://repositorio.ufmg.br/handle/1843/...
). According to the authors, the RESB has undergone a structural transformation, ceasing to receive only the contribution of agricultural activities and also receiving the contribution of factories and companies from various economic sectors. Therefore, the contribution of sugarcane and coffee production to GDP occurs in the same context in which there is also an industrial increase aimed at the pulp and paper industry.

MUNICIPALITY 1999 2009 2018
GDP Agro *AgrPart GDP *AgrPart *% Agr GDP *AgrPart *% Agr * Growth (%)
Alcobaça 54390 24622 46.67 167722 81334 51.19 55,143 62,118 25.89 369
Belmonte 30265 7364 25.22 169912 68470 42 88,836 72,572 26.47 854
Caravelas 69430 36531 54.26 274173 158956 60.31 49,020 100,174 30.39 403
Eunápolis 226974 19712 9.70 1297385 89696 7.69 2,890,519 106,397 4.17 1174
Guaratinga 33491 10100 31.45 111928 45407 41.91 196,785 64,954 33.90 488
Ibirapuã 15373 6270 42.29 61511 17293 30.4 280,094 58,046 23.24 1722
Itabela 41673 10167 25.26 167730 39954 25.89 351,605 52,793 16.18 744
Itagimirim 13572 3716 28.47 45290 13369 31.15 111,647 28,497 27.24 723
Itamaraju 130671 23372 19.19 458645 96584 22.62 901,084 164,881 19.69 590
Itanhém 36932 8708 24.41 107204 33085 32.11 226,290 71,924 33.11 513
Itapebi 27089 5838 22.35 283148 24171 8.61 282,683 26,156 9.36 944
Jucuruçu 18356 7203 39.81 65415 25038 38.83 94,748 40,533 43.82 416
Lajedão 14300 7126 50.75 26252 11590 45.62 58,456 25,952 46.29 309
Medeiros Neto 61816 12701 21.47 136170 29284 22.95 329,936 61,356 19.96 434
Mucuri 407167 38351 10.53 1059667 113756 11.57 2,460,443 61,075 2.71 504
Nova Viçosa 71518 21892 32.94 271064 76278 30.54 492,650 44,204 9.98 589
Porto Seguro 194029 13497 7.58 1054485 36719 3.77 3,125,716 101,963 3.53 1511
Prado 71457 30970 44.78 241729 116164 49.62 444,042 142,325 33.45 521
Santa Cruz Cabrália 38766 9007 24.43 161964 35468 23.11 416,749 58,566 14.97 975
Teixeira de Freitas 246753 18137 8.18 1101813 51796 5.25 2,585,821 82,070 3.56 948
Vereda 18729 9057 49.10 54968 22148 41.37 71,876 27,391 39.40 284
Bahia 41883129 2695259 7.27 137942481 10605795 8.16 286239541 19095908 7.62 583
Brazil 1064999712 50782029 5.47 3333039339 149212635 5.11 286239541 309611000 5.15 -73
  • *
    AgrPart - Share of gross value added at current prices of agriculture in gross value added at current prices total GDP (%);
  • Source: IBGE (2018b)IBGE - - Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística. Produto Interno Bruto dos Municípios - 2018b. Disponível em: https://www.ibge.gov.br/apps/pibmunic. Acesso em: 13 set. 2022.
    https://www.ibge.gov.br/apps/pibmunic...
    ; Elaborated by the authors (2022).
  • The data referring to the contribution of agricultural activities to the municipalities of the RESB in 2018 (Figure 6) reveal that among the seven main sugarcane-producing municipalities, the municipality of Caravelas, which occupies first place in the ranking of the main sugarcane producers of the RESB, was the only one that received the highest contribution of the GDP from sugarcane. The others (Medeiros Neto, Lajedão, Mucuri, Ibirapuã and Teixeira de Freitas) received a greater contribution related to cattle production and forest products (Nova Viçosa).

    Figure 6
    Agricultural activities important to the GDP of municipalities in the extreme southern region of Bahia

    It is possible that this has something to do with the fact that sugarcane is a temporary crop, and requires investments in other products. In addition, being an annual crop, sugarcane may have a lower reflection on GDP compared to eucalyptus forestry, which has a cycle of about five to seven years.

    Coffee, on the other hand, presented a greater contribution to GDP in five municipalities in the region: Eunápolis, Itabela, Porto Seguro, Itamaraju and Prado. This indicates that coffee farming is a relevant activity for the local economy and that coffee-producing municipalities are specialized in coffee farming. Considering that coffee is a perennial crop, its representation in municipal GDP in the main coffee-producing municipalities can be explained.

    In a similar manner, in Mato Grosso, although the production and processing of sugarcane has shown an important increase, its participation in the GDP is not significant when compared to other sectors since, even when incorporating the value of hydrated ethanol production in 2009, the impact of sugarcane on GDP remained below 2% in the state (AZEVEDO JÚNIOR et al., 2012).

    In relation to the contribution of coffee farming in the state of Espírito Santo, it is observed that this was the largest agricultural activity that contributed to the gross agricultural value added by rural regions in 2018 (IBGE, 2020IBGE - Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística. PIB dos Municípios 2018 - Atividades agropecuárias mais importantes. Rio de Janeiro: IBGE, 2020. E-book (16 p.) ISBN 978-65-87201-39-9. Disponível em: https://www.ibge.gov.br/estatisticas/economicas/contas-nacionais/9088-produto-interno-bruto-dos-municipios.html?edicao=29720&t=resultados. Acesso em: 11 ago. 2022.
    https://www.ibge.gov.br/estatisticas/eco...
    ). Comparing this with the RESB data regarding the achievement of higher economic levels related to the contribution of coffee to the GDP of this region, it can be seen that this crop is quite effective for the local economy.

    Municipal Human Development Index (MHDI) of sugarcane- and coffee-producing municipalities in the RESB

    The main sugarcane and coffee-producing municipalities in the RESB (Table 2) showed growth in the MHDI between 1991 and 2010. Analyzing the growth rates of the MHDI of each of the municipalities of the RESB, with the exception of Medeiros Neto and Lajedão, it was found that they were higher than the state and national growth rates in the same period. This indicates that the region was influenced by the expansion of sugarcane and coffee to the main producing municipalities and to neighboring municipalities.

    Table 2
    MHDI of the main sugarcane- and coffee-producing municipalities in the extreme southern region of Bahia (1991-2010)

    Analyzing the position occupied by the main sugarcane-producing municipalities of the RESB regarding the growth rate of the MHDI, it is noted that among the main sugarcane-producing municipalities that lead the production ranking are Mucuri and Caravelas. In contrast, the municipalities of Medeiros Neto and Lajedão are in the lowest positions. Among the main coffee producers that presented the highest growth rate of the MHDI are Prado and Itabela, and those that presented the lowest growth rate are Teixeira de Freitas and Eunápolis.

    When verifying the contribution of the income, longevity and education indices to the growth of the MHDI of these municipalities, it is noticeable that all achieved growth between 1999 and 2010.

    The MHDI for income and longevity in the RESB showed growth and were classified as medium and high, respectively. However, the MHDI for education is classified as very low or low. This means that despite the growth in the MHDI, some major sugarcane- and coffee-producing municipalities have not made progress in all the social spheres, thus demanding greater investments in public policies aimed at education.

    The study of the educational profile of rural workers deserves attention since education is decisive in relation to their salaries. A study conducted on the labor market of the sugar and alcohol sector in Brazil indicates that despite the growth in the number of years of study of workers, the numbers are still low, according to the MHDI scale (MORAES, 2007MORAES, M. A. F. D., 2007. Indicadores do Mercado de Trabalho do Sistema Agroindustrial da Cana-de-Açúcar do Brasil no Período 1992-2005. Estudos Econômicos (São Paulo), v. 37, 875-902, 2007. https://doi.org/10.1590/S0101-41612007000400007.
    https://doi.org/10.1590/S0101-4161200700...
    ).

    Population in sugarcane- and coffee-producing municipalities in the RESB

    The population growth in the RESB has occurred since 1980, following the trend in Brazil. In the late 1990s, the beginning of the expansion of sugarcane and coffee production in the RESB aimed to make it a hub for biofuel production and boost the production of conilon coffee from Bahia. In addition, the development of tourism and eucalyptus cultivation in this period may have exerted pressure on the region (ALMEIDA, 2008). These activities may, together, have fostered this population growth in the RESB.

    In the late 1990s, the beginning of the expansion of sugarcane and coffee production in the RESB, aiming to make it a hub for biofuel production and in order to boost the production of conilon coffee from Bahia, could, together with the production of eucalyptus, have fostered this population growth.

    In addition to the growth of the total population, there was also an increase in the urban population at the expense of the rural population throughout the region. This indicates that the economic activities carried out in the countryside were not sufficient to retain the population in the rural area (Table 3).

    Table 3
    Urban and rural population dynamics of the main sugarcane- and coffee-producing municipalities in the extreme southern region of Bahia

    Accordingly, the expansion of agricultural commodities in Brazil (for export purposes) promotes the integration of the Brazilian economy into the international market and may represent a risk to the food security of the Brazilian population (FLEXOR et al., 2022FLEXOR, G.; KATO, K.; LEITE, S. P. Transformações na agricultura brasileira e os desafios para a segurança alimentar e nutricional no século XXI. Rio de Janeiro: Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, 2022. Disponível em: https://www.arca.fiocruz.br/handle/icict/52399. Acesso em: 12 out. 2022.
    https://www.arca.fiocruz.br/handle/icict...
    ). This situation can be explained by the fact that the development of agribusiness projects has a greater contribution to regional economic aspects, to the detriment of social issues. An example of this is seen in a study carried out on socio-environmental conflicts in the RESB, which provides data on various problems inherent in the land ownership concentration of the region (FERREIRA et al., 2019FERREIRA, C. L. R.; PEREIRA, K. A.; LOGAREZZI, A. J. M. Territorialização no extremo sul da Bahia e conflitos socioambientais: disputando modelos de educação e desenvolvimento. Geosul, Florianópolis, v. 34, n. 71, p. 739-764, abr. 2019. http://doi.org/10.5007/1982-5153.2019v34n71p739
    https://doi.org/10.5007/1982-5153.2019v3...
    ).

    FINAL REMARKS

    The RESB presented transformations regarding the development of agricultural activities in the studied period due to internal factors (soil and climatic conditions, availability of area for agricultural expansion) and external factors (regulation of policies to support agricultural expansion, influence of nearby regions that produce sugarcane and coffee, as well as market demands).

    It was observed that sugarcane and coffee crops have grown in terms of area and production since 1988, and that 13 of the 21 municipalities of the RESB occupy the position of main producers of sugarcane (Caravelas, Mucuri, Medeiros Neto, Lajedão, Ibirapuã, Nova Viçosa and Santa Cruz Carbália) and coffee (Prado, Itamaraju, Porto Seguro, Eunápolis, Teixeira de Freitas and Itabela).

    Some of the municipalities that produce sugarcane in the RESB stand out in the ranking of the main municipalities producing this crop in Bahia, and the proximity of ethanol-producing plants in Minas Gerais creates a demand for sugarcane producing areas in the RESB, such as the city of Serra dos Aimorés, which belongs to the mesoregion of the Vale do Mucuri in Minas Gerais, where the Serra dos Aimorés alcohol distillery (DASA) is located.

    In the case of coffee, there is a strong influence by Espírito Santo for the search for new areas for expansion of this crop due, mainly, to the economic ease in the acquisition of land. Due to this, the RESB stands out as the only conilon coffee-producing region in Bahia.

    Despite the economic importance of sugarcane and coffee for the main producing municipalities, in 2018 it was possible to conclude that there are also other significant activities for the RESB and for the increase in GDP in it. In the case of sugarcane, the consolidation of the ethanol agroindustry can boost the contribution to GDP. However, although this sector has been weakened by the COVID-19 pandemic and has to face the challenge of the global trend regarding the growth of electric vehicles, it is expected that the resumption of ethanol production will occur gradually, considering that its production is mainly aimed at supplying the domestic market (VIDAL, 2020VIDAL, F. Produção e mercado de etanol. Caderno Setorial ETENE, 2020. Disponível em: https://www.bnb.gov.br/s482-dspace/handle/123456789/1196. Acesso em: 20 out. 2022.
    https://www.bnb.gov.br/s482-dspace/handl...
    ).

    On the other hand, the impacts of sugarcane and coffee production on the MHDI of producing municipalities indicate that, despite the increase, it is necessary to carry out further investigations regarding the potential impacts on society and the environment.

    It is also concluded that, regarding the spatial distribution of sugarcane and coffee producers, there were changes in the main producing municipalities when compared to the area occupied by these crops in relation to the others. This fact is corroborated by the analysis carried out on the agricultural matrix of the RESB, in which it was identified that the areas occupied by sugarcane and coffee crops have grown at the expense of cocoa crops.

    REFERÊNCIAS

    Publication Dates

    • Publication in this collection
      29 May 2023
    • Date of issue
      2023

    History

    • Received
      15 Aug 2022
    • Accepted
      09 Nov 2022
    • Published
      10 Mar 2023
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