2015 年 8 巻 1 号 p. 53-80
Brazil is the largest producer of sugar and ethanol made from sugarcane. It is well known that automobiles in Brazil run on ethanol, but the current conditions of sugarcane production have not yet been explained from the viewpoint of human geography. To present basic data pertaining to sugarcane production, this study reconsiders its characteristics by examining the production elements such as land use, cultivation methods, and the management of cases involving farms, custom harvesters, agricultural cooperatives, machinery manufacturers, and sugar factories. The main data used were obtained from fieldwork conducted in the State of São Paulo. The results show that the vast amounts of land used in Brazil for sugarcane production have developed around the sugarcane production centers, especially those in the State of São Paulo. In this area, the scale of production has grown through the introduction of new technology, mechanization, tenant farming, and single-crop production. The structure of sugarcane production that comprises these elements is complex, but it can be rationalized in terms of economy. With respect to environmental load, there are anxieties about the amount of industrial materials being applied in the course of land use.