THE SOYBEAN EFFECT
Source: Forest Trends Report May 2021
Cacalos Garrastazu/Eder Content
Cattle in a deforested area in the region of Novo Progresso (Pará); fourth most deforested city in the Amazon, the cattle herd increased by 10% between 2015 and 2020
Five decades later, the municipality of São Félix do Xingu (PA) has the largest cattle herd in Brazil. There are 2.4 million heads of cattle. With an estimated population of 135 thousand, there are more cattle than residents in the city. There are 18 heads of cattle per inhabitant.
Not by chance, São Félix do Xingu is among the champions of deforestation: it ranks second in Amazon cities with the largest deforested area, according to official data from Prodes (Project for the Satellite Monitoring of the Brazilian Amazon). It ranks behind only Altamira, also in the State of Pará.
When we come across Prodes‘ ranking of the ten Brazilian cities most deforested in 2020 with figures on cattle herds registered by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) in the same locations, we can see that there was an increase of almost 500 thousand heads of cattle in these municipalities.