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The Economist | Infrastructure: The road to hell

The Economist

Infrastructure
The road to hell
Getting Brazil moving again will need lots of private investment and know-how

BRINGING CROPS FROM one of the futuristic new farms in Brazil’s central and northern plains to foreign markets means taking a journey back in time. Loaded onto lorries, most are driven almost 2,000km south on narrow, potholed roads to the ports of Santos and Paranaguá (see map). In the 19th and early 20th centuries they were used to bring in immigrants and ship out the coffee grown in the fertile states of São Paulo and Paraná, but now they are overwhelmed. Thanks to a record harvest this year, Brazil became the world’s largest soya producer, overtaking the United States. The queue of lorries waiting to enter Santos sometimes stretched to 40km.

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