Brazil opens fund to cut agriculture deforestation

RIO DE JANEIRO Nov 10 (Reuters) – Brazil’s state development bank BNDES on Wednesday said it opened a fund worth 1 billion reais ($588 million) that will finance projects to reduce deforestation associated with the nation’s booming agricultural sector.

The fund will provide low interest loans for rural businesses and cooperatives to invest in recovering degraded land or creating links between existing forests and land used for agriculture, the bank said in a statement.

The project is part of a broader plan for Brazil to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions, which currently come mostly from deforestation, by as much as 39 percent from the levels projected for 2020.

Rapid expansion of agriculture in Brazil, which is quickly becoming a bread-basket for the world, has been seen as a key driver of deforestation in recent years.

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