Until the 1st half of the 20th century, the Midwest region was a region marked by agricultural activities, disconnected from the rest of the country and with inexpressive demographic growth. The great milestone for the transformation of the region was the construction of Brasília, in the 1960s. The transfer of the capital to the central portion of Brazil fundamentally represented the idealization of some strategic concerns, such as national integration, the defense of national sovereignty and the establishment of borders.
The concern with territorial integration concerns the construction of a capital in a determinant location, capable of enabling the expansion of networks railway, waterway and road, with emphasis on the latter, in accordance with the developmental paradigm of the time based on road structuring and production of automobiles. As for the delineation of the borders, it is worth noting that the construction of the modals had the northern region as its main destination, seeking the integration of the territory, as, for example, the construction of the Belém-Brasília, Brasília-Rio Branco, Cuiabá-Porto Velho, Cuiabá-Santarém highway, idealized and built between the 1960s and 1970.
Many farmers and ranchers in southern Brazil migrated to the Midwest in search of cheap land, because in their areas of origin urban growth and the lack of agricultural land prevented the increase of the area. cultivated. The relief of Central Brazil was perfectly suited to cultures that require great mechanization, especially soy. Currently, the Midwest represents the largest producing area in the country, with Brazil occupying the 2nd position in the world in this crop. In addition to soybeans, extensive cattle raising, cotton and corn represent the activities that grew the most in the region.
In this process, farmers in the South and São Paulo were attracted by the promises of profitability and rural credit. The economic opening that took place in the early 1990s contributed to the growth in production of soy, favoring the importation of machinery and inputs, and attracting multinationals operating in the sector. The soybean production chain was completed with the production of pesticides, selected seeds and machinery. According to the IBGE, the Midwest was the 2nd region with the highest growth in the country in the last decade, values closely related to agribusiness.
Soybeans in the Midwest are a source of controversy among researchers, politicians, farmers and environmentalists. The homogenization of ecosystems has been harshly criticized, as soy production advances through the Cerrado and has already reached the Amazon ecosystem. The debate on transgenic varieties, species genetically modified in the laboratory, still lacks greater detail and greater exposure to society.
The Midwest region represents an area of recent and expanding population growth, which is still allows for adequate planning regarding its urbanization process and exploitation of its resources natural. Unfortunately, the region is already experiencing the same problems that other regions have experienced a few decades before, as real estate speculation, precarious living conditions of the rural population and concentration land ownership.
Julio César Lázaro da Silva
Brazil School Collaborator
Graduated in Geography from Universidade Estadual Paulista - UNESP
Master in Human Geography from Universidade Estadual Paulista - UNESP
Source: Brazil School - https://brasilescola.uol.com.br/brasil/historia-economica-regiao-centro-oeste-sec-xx-aos-dias-atuais.htm