Piauí, Brazil Economy

Piauí, Brazil Economy


Agriculture and Livestock.

Piauí’s economy is based on agriculture and livestock, complemented by vegetal extraction. The main agricultural crops, located in the Parnaíba valley and in the Canindé basin, as well as around the city of Picos, are tree cotton, beans, corn, rice and manioc. There are also considerable plantations of sugar cane, oranges, bananas, garlic and, in smaller quantities, coconut, tobacco, tomatoes, onions and peanuts. Typical of the region is a vegetable extraction that involves several palm trees, such as tucum, carnauba and babassu, and also that of cashew nuts, angico peels and oceicica seeds.

According to insidewatch.net, Livestock farming is traditional in Piauí, which was responsible for the occupation of the territory during colonial times. It is practiced throughout the state, extensively in the cerrado areas, and intensively in the Campo Maior region. A separate fact is that of Piauí beekeeping, which soon became the first in the Northeast and one of the first in the country

Mining and industry.

The Piaui subsoil is still little explored. Substantial smaller marble reserves of gypsum, rock salt, limestone and clay were found in the coastal area (north of the state), and vermiculite. Amethysts occur in the municipality of Batalha. The hydraulic potential of the Parnaíba basin was exploited by the Presidente Castelo Branco plant (Boa Esperança), completed in 1990.

At the end of the 20th century, Piauí’s industry was still not significant. It comprised, with modest numbers, the chemical (for the production of vegetable oils), the textile (for the spinning and weaving of cotton), foodstuffs (sugar, meat, bacon, juices and fruit jams), building materials sectors ( lime, tiles and bricks), hides and skins.

Transport. Railways of the Federal Railway Network connect Teresina to the capitals of Maranhão and Ceará and, internally, to the cities of Parnaíba, Piripiri and Campo Maior. This small railway network, which reaches the port of Luís Correia, has obsolete facilities and reduced movement.

The city of Picos is the starting point of the Transamazônica highway, which crosses the state to Floriano, on the border with Maranhão. Picos is an important junction of federal highways: the BR-116 (Teresina-Picos), the BR-020, the BR-230 and the BR-407, which allows the connection of the state to Brasília and the other capitals of the country.

The port of Parnaíba is the main port in the state and also the navigation terminal of the Parnaíba river. Commercial aviation has Teresina airport and airfields in interior cities


The Federal University of Piauí, founded in 1968, and headquartered in Teresina, has faculties of medicine, dentistry, law, philosophy and administration, the latter headquartered in Parnaíba. Of the state’s museums, the most important is the Piauí Historical Museum. The Public Archive of Piauí works at the Anísio Brito house, which is also the headquarters of the Public Library and the Historical Museum.

The National Historical and Artistic Heritage listed, in the state’s territory, the following monuments: in Campo Maior, the battalion cemetery; in Oeiras (the former capital), the episcopal palace (former Nepomuceno townhouse), in Praça das Vitórias, Ponte Grande, over the Mocha River; in Piracuruca, the parish church of Nossa Senhora do Carmo; and, in Teresina, the five external doors of the church of São Benedito (1886). In Teresina, there is also the statue of Friar Serafim de Catânia, founder of the church of São Benedito; and, in Parnaíba, the obelisk in memory of the heroes of independence in Piauí.

Folklore and religious festivals.

There are great feasts of patron saints in many cities, such as Nossa Senhora do Amparo, in Teresina, são Gonçalo, in Batalha and Campo Maior, Nossa Senhora da Graça, in Parnaíba, and são Miguel Arcanjo, in São Miguel do Tapuio, Miguel Alves, Matias Olímpio etc. Holy week is celebrated with pomp and processions in the cities of Floriano, Parnaíba, Pedro II, Teresina and Uruçuí. Luís Correia celebrates his patron, Bom Jesus dos Navegantes, with a maritime procession.

There are traditional popular festivities, generally linked to religious dates, such as the bumba-meu-boi or boi dance, held at the end of June in numerous cities (Barras, Floriano, São Raimundo Nonato, Teresina); the reisado and the pastorinhas, between Christmas and the Kings Day, also very frequent (Conceição do Canindé, Floriano, Oeiras, Teresina); the revelries of Reis and Divino Espírito Santo, in Santa Filomena; the dances of São Gonçalo (Batalha, Campo Maior, São Raimundo Nonato); Creole drum dance (Teresina).


In addition to the historic monuments listed, it is also necessary to visit the formation of Sete Cidades, in the municipality of Piracuruca, consisting of seven sets of rock formations, whose height varies between four and five meters in the first, to reach 120 in the third, called Castelo, and cover a span of twenty square kilometers. 12 km from the capital is the Zoobotanic, with river beaches on the Poti River, and just five kilometers from its center there is a petrified forest, estimated to be 350 million years old, which in 1993 became a municipal park.

Piauí, Brazil Economy