Food and Agriculture | Wilson Center

Food and Agriculture

What to Expect from Brazilian Agriculture in 2019–2020

Agriculture has always been a massive contributor to the Brazilian economy, a relationship that has become even stronger since the economic recession. In 2019, however, agricultural activity appears to have slowed down, underscoring the sluggish scenario of the overall Brazilian economy.

How Brazilian Cities are Boosting Sustainable Agriculture

Brazil is known worldwide as a major agricultural power. But despite being one of the top food producers in the world, the country is still grappling with challenges, such as finding sustainable ways to farm and sharing the wealth of its fields with the overall population.

Initial Findings & Key Recommendations: Farm Labor & Mexico’s Export Produce Industry

Three Key Findings from Worker Surveys and Focus Groups

Deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest

(Agri)business as Usual: Curbing Deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest

Under internal and global scrutiny, the Bolsonaro administration in Brazil is facing strong pressure to reconsider its controversial environmental agenda. Although deforestation was a problem long before Jair Bolsonaro assumed power in January 2019, the future of the Amazon Rainforest is clearly threatened under the current government.

Meet the Farmers: Case Studies from Mexico's Export Ag Industry


Case Study: Martín

Martín is around 50 years of age: “Maybe I’m 49 or something like that.” He is from Tala, and lives with his second wife and his father, who is over 80. Martín is a supervisor in the Las Hormigas field of the company Berries Paradise. His father and mother are from San Pedro Apulco, close to Nochistlán, Zacatecas, and came to Tala to work. “Hunger brought them here,” he says.  When they arrived, his mother was pregnant with his older brother. “They got here and had to rent a place and live wherever they could, because when they got here, there were no houses in Tala.”

Case Study: Esmeralda

Esmeralda is a young woman, 21 years of age, from Chilapa de Álvarez, Guerrero. Her father’s and mother’s families have land on which they plant corn, beans, limes, tomatillos, and cilantro. When Esmeralda was four years old, her parents migrated to the United States, and she and her younger brother stayed behind with their paternal grandparents. After a year, the children joined their parents. Her father worked in kitchens and her mother did domestic work.

Case Study: Sandy

Sandy is 26, and grew up with her grandparents and four paternal aunts in El Platanar, Tuxpan. Her parents worked in the fields, but it was her aunts who supported and raised her. Only three of her aunts work; the other does the housework and takes care of Sandy’s grandparents. The main source of income comes from one of the aunts, who is an elementary school teacher. Two other aunts are farm workers, one in the cherry tomato fields and the other in the same berry greenhouse where Sandy works. When she was little, Sandy went to school; she never worked outside the home.