BRASILIA, BRAZIL — Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff and Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply, Mendes Ribeiro Filho on June 28 launched a new Agriculture and Livestock Plan for Brazil, which will include $55.5 billion in government investments in Brazil’s agriculture business crop over the 2012-13 season.

This is the highest amount of resources ever invested in this sector. Of these resources, $41.9 billion will finance the cost and marketing of crops, and $13.6 billion will support investment programs. The new plan also increases the previous crop credit by of 7.5% and reduces the controlled annual interest rate from 6.75% to 5.5%.

The new rate is attractive to investors in agriculture, as it represents an 18.5% decrease in financing costs for Brazilian farmers. The total resources with controlled interest rate will be $45.2 billion, which represents an increase of 18.5% over the programmed resources for the previous harvest. The interest-free resources amount to $10.3 billion.

"The reduction in interest rates, which is happening throughout our economy, is also a hallmark of this plan. Agriculture is also being benefited by this reduction. All their credit lines had their rate set at 5.5% per year, lower than the previous year and equal to the Investment Support Program, the PSI, by the Brazilian Development Bank. This is the recognition that agriculture plays a key role in tackling the international crisis," said Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff during the launching ceremony of the new plan.