Cargill reopens its port in the Amazon

16-04-2007 | |

Despite environmentalists who say the port encourages destruction of the rain forest by making it easier for soy farmers, loggers and ranchers to get their products to market, Cargill reopened its deep-water Amazon River port.

Cargill opened the $20 million port three years ago to
cash in on the rising global demand for soybeans, which had become Brazil’s
richest agricultural export. However, Cargill has had to fight in court to keep
it open after it was accused of failing
to provide an additional environmental impact study
before building the
export facility.

The rain forest, as big as
Western Europe, lost 6,450 square miles to deforestation
between 2005 and 2006, Brazil’s Environment Ministry says, and ports and
roads that make it easier to export soy are a major factor. Cargill ships 1
million metric tons of soybeans each year from Santarem, 1,550 miles northwest
of Rio de Janeiro, helping to make Brazil the world’s second-largest soy
exporter behind the United States.

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