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Montevideo, September 20th 2018 - 22:38 UTC

Brazil considering leasing farm land to foreigners to circumvent sales restrictions

Tuesday, May 10th 2011 - 09:55 UTC
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Agriculture minister Wagner Rossi, Brazil needs foreign investment and technology in agriculture Agriculture minister Wagner Rossi, Brazil needs foreign investment and technology in agriculture

Brazil may start leasing farm land to foreigners to find a way around new legal restrictions on land sales and attract more foreign investment, the agriculture minister said.

Last year, foreigners seeking to buy large plots of land began running into legal roadblocks, after the attorney general's office reinterpreted real estate law amid concern over property speculation by overseas investors.

But President Dilma Rousseff, who took office in January, is looking for ways to ease the restrictions on foreign investment in the farm sector. Rousseff, who seems more pragmatic than her predecessor Lula da Silva, wants to encourage productive foreign investment while still fending off speculators.

“It's important that they come and make these investments,” Agriculture Minister Wagner Rossi said, citing the paper and cellulose industry as one among many which would benefit from new investment and know-how.

Brazil is the world's top producer of coffee, sugar, beef and orange juice, and the world's No. 2 exporter of soybeans.

Although agricultural exports have boosted Brazil's strong economic growth, Rossi said a lack of foreign capital has deprived the country of foreign expertise to raise efficiency and competitiveness.

Rules on foreigners buying land tightened last year after officials grew concerned about large purchases by sovereign wealth funds, particularly from the Middle East, and by Chinese buyers.

The changes do not affect prior sales and foreigners can still buy land between 250 hectares and 5,000 hectares, depending on the region. Still, the new rules have already had an impact.

At least 15 billion US dollars of foreign investment in Brazilian land has been halted since reinterpretation of real estate laws, according to two local agricultural analyst groups.

Rossi pointed to Australian legislation, which allows land leasing for 99 years, as an example of the system Brazil wants to introduce. The terms may be closer to 50 years but details still need to be worked out, he said.

The government is also looking at setting up an inter-ministerial commission to study outright foreign land purchases on a case-by-case basis, to determine whether they would be beneficial to Brazil.

“If it is approved, there won't be a problem. You just go ahead and buy your land,” he said, adding that the attorney general's office is studying legal options along with other ministries and will recommend a joint government position
 

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  • GeoffWard

    So, . . . . .
    is there a Central Land Office that provided detailed month-by-month reports for the
    Brasilian Federal and
    State Governments AND for
    Unasur and Mercosur
    showing
    (i) the present status of land sales/leases to foreign nationals/governments/entities and
    (ii) the month-on-month history of these transactions over the years?

    You must be joking!

    This would need a new President of Unasur to tell all the South American countries that it is really, really important to know which foreign countries are gaining ownership of the lands of South America.

    Softly, softly, bit by bit, 5,000 hectares at a time, the country is being sold off from under our very feet.

    May 10th, 2011 - 08:02 pm 0
  • Fido Dido

    Geoff, what you just typed, doesn't make sense at all. Don't you get tired of your own nonsense?
    Being on pension must be hard huh. You're bored, get a job, do some community work. I heard they need some volunteers at the British Cemetery in Salvador, State of Bahia. Anyway, take it easy huh..stop drinking coffee.

    May 10th, 2011 - 11:11 pm 0
  • GeoffWard

    Tell me the bits you´re having trouble with and I´ll try to help you.

    May 11th, 2011 - 12:45 am 0
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