“We are lit­er­ally eat­ing up the rain for­est and are not far away from a dan­ger­ous tip­ping point.”

CAN A FARM BE BIG­GER THAN A COUN­TRY?

iD magazine - - Current Events - CLAUDE MARTIN, FOR­MER DI­REC­TOR GEN­ERAL OF WWF IN­TER­NA­TIONAL

There are hun­dreds of com­bine har­vesters, fields as far as the eye can see, and thou­sands of em­ploy­ees—the Bom Fu­turo (“good fu­ture”) farm in the heart of Brazil is one of the world’s big­gest farms. Its 2,125 square miles ( more than twice the size of Lux­em­bourg) gets sown with just one kind of seed: soy­bean. Bom Fu­turo farm is merely one of thou­sands of farms owned by World Power Food Inc. that are lo­cated in the soy­bean belt of South Amer­ica. In fact, Brazil ex­ports be­tween 35 and 45 bil­lion tons of soy­beans from this re­gion alone each year to China and Europe and more and more soy fields are be­ing cul­ti­vated—in ar­eas where lush sa­vanna or rain forests used to reign. The rea­son for the soy boom: The soy­bean is now one of the main food sources for mil­lions of cat­tle and pigs. When pro­cessed into feed, soy­beans serve to bol­ster the meat pro­duc­tion in fac­tory farm set­tings. In the U.S. al­most 50% of the beans are used in an­i­mal feed. The big­gest bene­fac­tors of the soy trade are the global cor­po­ra­tions. They con­trol the farms and pro­vide the ge­net­i­cally mod­i­fied soy seeds. At the same time they are the only ones to of­fer the req­ui­site pes­ti­cides and fer­til­iz­ers, thus en­abling the soy mono­cul­ture to sur­vive so farms like Bom Fu­turo can con­tinue to grow.

44 mil­lion tons of soy­beans are ex­ported by food cor­po­ra­tions ev­ery year from Brazil alone. 2,125At square miles Brazil’s Bom Fu­turo soy­bean farm is the big­gest in the world, more than twice the size of Lux­em­bourg.

3% of the sur­face of Brazil is cov­ered by soy fields, an area nearly the size of Mon­tana.

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