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Alagoas - Economy
The economy of the State is still heavily based on the primary sector (agriculture and livestock).
The coastal zone (see the
Geography of Alagoas
for more info) concentrates much of the commercial plantations; there are large areas of rice cultivation in the southern area, close to the rio São Francisco, and several farms of coconut all along the coast. However, the main culture is still (as it has been the case for centuries; check out the
History of Alagoas) sugar cane; this sector (including industrial processing, see below) is stil the largest employers and the largest tax payer.
The agreste region sees more diversified products (tobacco, corn, manioc, beans, cotton), but much is traded in natura in the nearby markets.
In the sertão, there are ranchs of cattle, and the associated cultures.
Industry. The most important industry of Alagoas is the processing of sugar cane, for production of sugar and alcohol (not only is the use of alcohol as fuel widespread in Brazil, but also the gasoline takes a proportion of alcohol).
There are some oil fields on land and off shore Alagoas; production is not significative in the Brazilian whole scenery, but the royalties are important for the State and the municipalities.
SUDENE, the agency which foments projects in the northeast, has funded several industries, usually either for local consumption or taking advantage of the local potential.
Tourism. Alagoas has been attracting more and more tourists. The government has been giving incentives, and private businesses have been building hotels and services to cater for tourists who come for the good climate and paradisiac beaches.
Besides the capital Maceió, an important cluster is growing on the northern border, close to Pernambuco. Cities like Maragogi and Porto Calvo are attracting more and more tourists (and touristic infrastructure).
Infrastructure. The most important highway is BR-101, which cuts the State from north to south.
The hidrelectric plant of Paulo Afonso, in the border among Alagoas, Bahia and Pernambuco, provides plenty of energy to Alagoas.
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