The area of north-east Brazil contains nearly one-third of the country's 90 million inhabitants. Parts?
The area of north-east Brazil contains nearly one-third of the country's 90 million inhabitants. Parts of this largely agricultural area have recently been hit by some of the worst droughts in the nation's history.
Recife, the capital of the north-eastern state of Pernambuco, has become the target of some of the most extensive industrial development Brazil has ever seen, in on attempt to absorb some of the excess labour force when victims of famine flee to the coastal city.
Most of the industrial development taking place at Recife occurs under the auspices of the Superintendency for the North-East (SUDENE) - a department started in 1958 under the government of Juscelino Kubitschek.
Droughts in the north-eastern part of Brazil are known to happen every ten years, and the consequent disasters which follow included famine, -- 28 million people were faced with starvation this spring -- disease -- outbreaks of bubonic plague were reported in drought-stricken areas -- and death.
SUDENE was established to help deal with the problem of the recurring droughts, and although department has pursued a course of building dams and other irrigation projects, their greatest success has been in the industrial field. As a result of tax incentives and financing by the North Bank, industry has grown so rapidly that the growth rate in the north east is higher than the rest of Brazil.
Nowhere has the programme been so successful as in Recife. With a population of 788,569 ( 1960 census), the capital of Pernambuco is a picture of growth and industry. Under SUDENE's incentive policy to promote industrial expansion, land is sold to industries at the rate of one dollar ( a shillings and four pence) per hectare (2.4 acres). Local capital resources are also utilised, and SUDENE is embarking on a programme to provide adequate housing for the people who will work in the factories.