BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazilian far-right presidential front-runner Jair Bolsonaro’s proposal to merge the farm and environment ministries could hurt Brazil’s quest for 10 percent of the global farm trade, the country’s deputy agriculture minister said on Tuesday.
Eumar Novacki said that he was not opposed to the idea of combining the ministries but that it would likely be viewed abroad as a step backward in the country’s environmental protection and hurt consumer perceptions of its agriculture industry.
Novacki said that the country is striving to increase its share of the global agriculture trade across all farm products to 10 percent from 7 percent currently but that any fears that Brazil was retreating from environmental regulation could hurt product sales abroad.
The country has strict environmental laws with roughly two-thirds of its native vegetation preserved, said Novacki, adding that it was important to communicate to international consumers that when you buy Brazil you are preserving the planet.
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