In absolute numbers, no other nation consumes more pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and bactericides than Brazil. Latin America’s biggest economy spends USD 10 billion on these products each year, which isn’t, in itself, so surprising. Brazil is one of the world’s largest food producers – especially when it comes to crops such as soybeans, corn, and sugarcane.
Its warm and humid climate, coupled with massive biodiversity, makes Brazil’s plantations more susceptible to pests – as, unlike other countries, Brazil can’t rely on low temperatures as a form of biological control. Plus, swathes of land dominated by monoculture favor the proliferation of pests.
However, looking at the absolute numbers can be misleading. If we consider the amount of agrochemicals used per hectare of plantation, Brazil drops to seventh position, behind Japan and France – the latter of which uses pesticides as an excuse to impose restrictions on Brazilian agricultural products entering Europe.