Brazil cancels 10 year old ban on sugarcane farming in Amazon rainforest

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Brasilia: The world’s largest sugarcane producer, Brazil, on Wednesday cancelled a ban on sugarcane farming in the country’s Amazon and Pantanal tropical wetlands. The ban had been put in place under a 2009 decree. 

According to the media reports, the local environmental groups have condemned the decision as this will threaten the biodiversity of the forest area. Whereas, the cane industry group of Brazil has welcomed the decision stating that the environmental precaution will be taken during agricultural activities in the forest.

The prohibition on planting cane in the Amazon and Pantanal was executed under the government of former leftist leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (2003-2010). 

Due to strong local demand, companies in Brazil are eyeing to invest in expanding capacity to produce more ethanol. The falling prices of sugar in the international market has helped Brazil to emphasise more on ethanol production.

Former Environment Minister Carlos Minc said in a Twitter post, “This decision will tarnish the image of Brazilian ethanol in the world.”

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