Pará, Brazil Economy

Agriculture and Livestock. The state economy has been organized, since colonial times, around the collection of forest products. The economic collapse of rubber was followed by a prolonged crisis, from which it was not until 1930 that the state began to recover.

Logging is one of the most profitable sources of income in Pará. At the same time, an economy based on agricultural and pastoral activities emerged in the state, in which black pepper stands out. Next in importance are jute, cassava, rice, chestnuts and rubber. Agriculture develops in two different ecological areas: the floodplain and the mainland. In the first, with soils periodically renewed by the floods of the Amazon River, jute, rice, corn, beans and coco-da-bay are cultivated.

On the mainland, whose soils are poorer because they are not subject to flooding, black pepper and cassava are grown. These cultures develop mainly in the northeastern region of the state (Bragança and Tomé-Açu).

The cattle and pig herds are the most numerous in the Amazon. Most of the cattle are found on the island of Marajó, where the ox is traditionally also a saddle animal, and where a profitable species of buffalo brought from India and well acclimated in the region is raised.


Belém concentrates practically all the industrial activity of the state (food products, fabrics, non-metallic minerals, wood). Industrial products are important in terms of production value, jute fabrics, sawn (or unfolded) wood, cement and various types of drinks.

Energy and mining. Electric energy production, initially all from thermal sources, increased a lot with the entry into operation of the Curuá-Una and Tucuruí hydroelectric plants.

In the 1970s, in Carajás, between the Xingu and Tocantins rivers, huge reserves of iron, aluminum, copper, manganese, nickel, tin and gold were revealed. Manganese deposits were also discovered in the Vermelho River basin; of limestone, in Itaituba, Monte Alegre and Marabá. The gold found in Serra Pelada, where the only mining created by law in the country, has attracted thousands of adventurers from all over. Activity carried out in a primitive and predatory way, in the 1980s and 1990s caused a scandal, since several rivers in the state, including Tocantins, were contaminated by mercury dumped in its waters, with serious consequences for the population and the ecosystem. .

Diamonds and rock crystal are also explored in the Tocantins valley. Petrobras’ drilling in the middle of the Amazon revealed one of the largest deposits of rock salt in the world. In Paragominas, Trombetas, Almeirim and Carajás, there are vast deposits of bauxite. The Carajás bauxite reserves are considered to be gigantic. The state also has a significant production of aluminum.


The extensive regional hydrographic network offers conditions for river navigation to be the main means of transport. Several companies exploit this resource and use boats with typical names (boring, boring, cage, Vatican, etc.). The port of Belém is the most important in the Amazon region. There are no railroads. In the road network, the highlights are Belém-Brasília (BR-010), Belém-São Luís (BR-316), with 903km, and the Transamazônica (BR-230), still incomplete in its more than five thousand kilometers.


According to, Belém is home to the internationally renowned Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi, which conducts research on archeology, fauna, flora and ethnology in the Amazon region. It maintains an aquarium, forest garden, zoo, precious specialized library and notable archaeological, ethnographic and artistic collections registered by the National Historical and Artistic Heritage. It publishes high-level scientific publications, internationally prestigious.

Other major museums in the capital of Pará are those of the Historical and Geographic Institute of Pará and the Institute of Anthropology and Ethnology of Pará. The main libraries are the Public Library and Archive (45,000 volumes and 200,000 manuscripts) and that of the Federal University of Pará ( forty thousand volumes).

Institutions and monuments

The National Historical and Artistic Heritage listed the following monuments, in the state capital: the Old Palace, in the lane Don Bosco; the Blue House, in the Palace square; the Casa do Barão de Guajará, in Praça Pedro II – today the headquarters of the Historical and Geographic Institute of Pará; the Cathedral of Nossa Senhora das Graças; the churches of Nossa Senhora do Carmo (17th century), Nossa Senhora das Mercês (17th century), Nossa Senhora do Rosário and São João Batista; the church of Santo Alexandre and the former Jesuit College, annex – today the Archiepiscopal Palace (17th century). The Madre de Deus church in Vigia is also listed.

In addition to the listed monuments, others are noteworthy: the Forte do Castelo, the first landmark of the foundation of the city (17th century); the church of S. Francisco Xavier, where Father Antônio Vieira preached; the basilica of Nazaré, built at the beginning of the 20th century, with the legendary image of Our Lady of Nazareth, which has been worshiped in the state since the 17th century and which is part of the famous Círio procession, established in 1793; the Palácio Lauro Sodré, seat of the state government, by the architect Antônio José Laredo and inaugurated in 1771; the Municipal Palace; and the Memorial da Cabanagem, at kilometer zero of the BR-316.

Tourism and folklore

The main points of attraction in the state are located in the city of Belém. The beauty of the capital, with its tree-lined streets, its old buildings, its churches, the Teatro da Paz, the famous Ver-o-Peso pier market – where the most varied regional products are found – the Bosque Municipal Rodrigues Alves – with a lake, aquarium, nursery and birds from the region – Cidade Velha, whose manor houses have Portuguese tile facades, the São Brás Public Market, everything attraction for the tourist. Visits to the Federal University of Pará and the Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi complete the attractions of the capital.

In the neighborhoods of Belém there are the river resorts of Mosqueiro, Salinópolis, Outeiro, Chapéu Virado, Farol, Morubira and Arimba. Hunting and fishing are still practiced throughout the state, especially on the island of Marajó, but in recent decades ecological awareness, with its many campaigns for the preservation of nature and the Amazon rainforest, has led to increasing hunting restrictions and the first steps effective fisheries regulation.

The great religious festival throughout the North-Northeast is that of NS de Nazaré, in October, when the Círio procession takes place, which attracts crowds of the faithful and tourists. Several popular traditions remain, such as the boi de Reis, the boi-bumbá (variant of the bumba-meu-boi), marujada and carimbó, in cities in the interior of the state.

The state has typical cuisine, with a variety of dishes in which the indigenous influence predominates, such as the famous duck to the tucupi, the tacacá, the crab cakes, the moqueado fish in the tucupi, the açaí (drink prepared with the açaí coconut) , refreshment and cupuaçu candy.

Pará, Brazil Economy