C 2.4. What is expected to happen to employment levels with increasing automation and mechanization?
Amongst other things, the Sugarcane Technology Center has assessed the impact on employment of sugarcane harvesting without burning. Taking a hypothetical 100% level of mechanization in the State of So Paulo and 50% in the rest of the country, there would be a reduction of 165,000 jobs, compared to the fully manual system, for total employment levels in 2000. This is an ongoing, fast process in So Paulo. The use of residual sugarcane vegetation as an energy source could create new jobs in the agricultural area, as an alternative for the use of bundling machines (which are not defined as technology at the moment). Indirect jobs were not taken into account. The reduction in direct agricultural jobs in the 1990s was partly due to harvest mechanization. Planting is also being mechanized, although the implication for employment is lesser. This reduction expected fifteen years ago, when the discussion about limiting sugarcane burning and the consequent reduction of manual cutting began. The