Cuiaba, Mato Grosso, Brazil
Despite being capital of a State, Cuiaba is not a major city in Brazil. The Economy of Mato Grosso is based mostly on extractivism, lacking industries and services (see History of Cuiaba).
A large portion of Mato Grosso is covered by the cerrado, a biome characterized by flat land and short vegetation; the soil of cerrado used to be infertile, but after the 1980s Brazilian researchers found out how to turn the land productive, and Mato Grosso became the largest producer and of soy beans in Brazil.
The northern part of Mato Grosso makes borders with the Brazilian Amazon; for a long time, the Rain Forest was preserved, but as the soy bean farmers needed more land, the devastation of the Amazon started to grow. Today, this is a much debated issue in Brazil: how to make Economic progress and environmental preservation live together.
And in the southern area of the State, there is yet another large biome: the Pantanal, an area which is covered by alluvial water a good part of the year. As plantations were not possible here, the Economy was based mostly on cattle farming.
For many years, Cuiaba was known for being the meeting point of the three largest Brazilian biomes. Cuiaba called itself the Green Capital of Brazil; a robust infrastructure grew around this theme (with services like hotels, guided eco tours, fishing, etc).
Many questions should now be asked about Cuiabá, and this blog will attempt to provide the answers.