Nestled in the sun-kissed landscapes of Brazil, the story of the country’s corn unfolds quietly yet profoundly. This unassuming grain has seamlessly woven itself into the cultural fabric of Brazil, shaping not just its cuisine but also its traditions. Regarded as a vital commercial vegetable by the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA), Brazilian corn reflects the resilience of the country’s people, adapting to changing times while retaining an essential link to the past.
In the rustic kitchens of Indigenous communities and the bustling streets of modern cities, Brazilian corn has traveled through the centuries, playing a crucial role in local customs. From the green corn eaten as boiled corn on the cob, or dishes like “curau” and “pamonha,” to sweet corn used in preserves and sugar production, each kernel carries the taste of tradition and history.
From local fields to global markets
The significance of Brazilian corn extends beyond the culinary realm. For Brazilian farmers, it is a cultivation powerhouse with several uses. Between 60% and 80% of the corn volume produced in the country is allocated for feeding cattle, swine, and poultry, according to EMBRAPA. Moreover, corn has found its place in ethanol production, with Brazil estimated to produce 6 billion liters in the 2023-24 season, representing approximately 19% of all ethanol consumed in the country.
Brazilian corn also stands tall as an economic powerhouse, contributing to industries ranging from animal feed to high-tech manufacturing. Brazil currently holds the position as the second-largest corn exporter globally, aiming to secure the title of the world’s leading exporter. The country’s unique ability to harvest three corn crops, ensuring year-round production, sets it apart.
As Brazilian corn continues to rule as a global agricultural force, it not only sustains traditions but also sows seeds of prosperity. With its economic impact echoing across borders, each kernel contributes to a story of growth and resilience, embodying the Brazilian enduring spirit.