efe-epaBrasilia

Brazilian President Michel Temer annouced Wednesday a loan program worth 194.3 billion reais ($50.8 million) that will be used to fund agricultural activities in 2018-2019.

"We are renovating our commitment with farmers, who have turned Brazil into an agricultural powerhouse," Temer said.

The Brazilian economy has slowly started to recover from a long recession that lasted from 2015-2016.

In 2017, GDP grew 1 percent, a pace that continued in the first quarter of 2018, with agriculture being one of the most dynamic sectors of the economy.

The loans, which will be provided by a state-owned bank, have preferential interest rates and will be available to fund any aspect linked to agricultural production, including the purchase of machinery and insurance.

Farm support programs have been announced every year since 1991 by the Brazilian government and have allowed agricultural production to increase 240 percent, according to official figures, turning Brazil into one of the world's largest agricultural producers and exporters.

In his speech, Temer said that this rise in production was achieved with a less than 50 percent expansion in farmland, demonstrating the agricultural sector's "respect for nature."