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Prospects for agricultural water management
The states with the highest potential for sustainable irrigation development are Tocantins, Amazonas, Pará, Mato Grosso, Minas Gerais, Rio Grande do Sul, Roraima, São Paulo, Paraná and Goiás. Among these states, the growth of irrigated agriculture should be more significant in the agricultural frontier of Mato Grosso and the states of Minas Gerais, Bahia, Tocantins, Roraima, and the South of Maranhão and Piauí, depending on road improvement and energy storage in these regions. The expansion of sugarcane cultivation in the next years will require substantial amounts of water for irrigation in the states of Goiás, Mato Grosso and Tocantins. It is estimated that in the next 10 years sugarcane will replace rice as the crop with the largest requirement of water resources in the country.
Brazil faces a positive perspective regarding the productive capacity of its agricultural sector. It is essential that the Government ensures a continued economic stabilization of the economy, adopts sound macroeconomic and agricultural policies, and succeeds in its efforts to reduce the domestic interest rates paid by producers and consumers. It is fundamental to maintain a strong political will to take timely the measures required for a sustained growth of agriculture and the economy (Government Office for Science, 2010).