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Paracatu

Paracatu is a municipality in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil.HistoryThe region of Paracatu has been explored by Europeans since the end of the 16th century. In the middle of the 18th century deposits of gold and silver were discovered, and the area was settled. The settlement became the town Vila de Paracatu do Príncipe by royal charter in 1798.The economyThe economy is centered on cattle raising with 231,000 head . The main breeds are: Zebu, Girolanda, Frisian and Brown-Swiss. There is also large production of soybeans, corn, rice, beans, and also some coffee. Paracatu is the commercial center for an area one third the size of Portugal. In 2006 there were 6 banking branches: Banco do Brasil, Itaú, Bradesco, Banco Mercantil, Banco Bamerindus, and Caixa Econômica Federal. The GDP was R$ 754,090,000 .In 1978 the municipality began to receive investments from the Brazilian and the Japanese government to develop the cerrado soils, through the PRODECER-Programa de Cooperação Nipo-Brasileiro para o Desenvolviemnto do Cerrado.Because of new technologies used to develop the cerrado, agriculture in Paracatu became efficient and profitable in many properties. Nowadays, the cultivated area in the municipality surpasses 1000 square kilometres, with 300 square kilometres irrigated by central pivot sprinklers. This number has raised Paracatu to the position of greatest continuous area irrigated by center pivot irrigation in South America, using 318 center pivot sprinklers.
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