According to Agrarian Development and Family Agriculture Minister Paulo Teixeira, Brazil’s federal government will announce later this month the resumption of a series of actions aiming to promote the redistribution of unproductive lands, Agencia Brasil reported. The official made these remarks during a fair of the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST) in São Paulo.
Now in May, President Lula will announce the agrarian reform program. Agrarian reform will come back to Brazil. [We are going to] distribute land and recuperate unproductive land, destining it for agrarian reform, said Teixeira, adding that besides distributing land, the government will provide credit and technical assistance to the settlers, stimulating the formation of cooperatives and agro-industries.
Together with representatives of several federal agencies and leaders of social movements, the minister praised the MST's work, affirming that the movement produces healthy food and social equality in a country that, according to him, stopped producing food for the population in order to produce agricultural commodities sold to other countries.
The production of rice, beans, manioc, vegetables, legumes, and fruits has diminished, said Teixeira, who attributes to the landless movement the expertise in producing food without the use of agrotoxics that can contribute to national food security.
The MST will be very important to reduce social inequality in the country and to include people on the land, producing food in a country that has lost land for food production [in a context in which] it has expanded soybean and corn production, the Agrarian Development Minister stressed, adding that while the federal government plans to stimulate small agricultural producers, it will not mess with agribusiness. That's good and we're not going to mess with that.
Teixeira also criticized again the creation by the House of Deputies of a Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry (CPI) to investigate the MST and land invasions in the country.
Do they want to investigate the MST? Do they want to create a CPI for this? I think they will find interesting things. They will see that there [in the movement's camps and settlements], there is grape juice that does not have slave labor. You will find products that do not have agro toxics. You will find non-transgenic soy, he said, referring to some of the products produced by the MST, the largest producer of organic rice in Latin America, according to the Rio Grande Rice Institute (Instituto Riograndense de Arroz - Irga), an autarchy subordinated to the state secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock and Rural Development of Rio Grande do Sul.
High interest rates
To the MST's defense, Teixeira added a criticism to the president of the Central Bank, Roberto Campos Neto - to whom members of the government, including President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva himself, attribute responsibility for maintaining the interest rate. Currently, the economy's basic interest rate, the Selic, is at 13.75%.
If [those who want to investigate the MST] want to find a man who is creating a mess, a riot in this country, they will find Roberto Campos Neto, who is making the highest interest rate on the face of the earth and taking many Brazilians to extreme poverty and misery, he said.
Main target of criticism to the maintenance of high-interest rates - made not only by members of the federal government but also by many economists and entities such as the National Confederation of Industry (CNI) - Campos Neto has justified the interest rate policy implemented by the Central Bank alleging that the definition of the rate is not limited to inflation, including elements that, in his evaluation, still require caution, such as the government's gross debt.
It's the high debt that makes interest rates high, said the president of the Central Bank, while participating in a public hearing at the Senate Economic Affairs Committee, where he defended that technical criteria prevail over political ones in the Central Bank's decisions.
MST National Coordinator Débora Nunes highlighted that the fourth edition of the national fair symbolizes a new moment in the fight for agrarian reform in Brazil. At a certain moment, the MST, which is about to [complete] 40 years, understood that the classic agrarian reform would no longer happen in our country due to the level and stage of development of capital in agriculture, Débora commented, explaining that this demanded from the MST the capacity to reinvent itself, proposing the distribution of unproductive lands to rural workers as a response to problems that affect all of society.
The failure to carry out agrarian reform has produced a series of structural problems for the Brazilian people, experienced in the countryside and in the cities. The hegemonic model of capital in agriculture, expressed in agribusiness, is reproduced in the molds of what was colonial Brazil, in the tripod of the formation of latifundia. We are the country that concentrates the most land in the world, coexisting with more than 4 million landless people, he stated.
Besides the latifundium, says Nunes, this model was structured in the production of monocultures, prioritizing the production of commodities for export, which in most cases will be used as feed in Europe and developed countries, without taking into account the need to produce food and healthy food for Brazilians. And there is still a third aspect, which is slave labor, Nunes pondered, affirming that the workers who integrate the MST propose to produce healthy food through agroecology, preserving the natural resources and the biodiversity of the countryside. Our proposal for popular agrarian reform understands that we need to take care of, to preserve, the common goods so that we can continue to exist on this planet.”]
(Source: Agencia Brasil)
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Family farming (small rural producer) represents 80% of the food production that effectively goes to the Brazilian table. Organic food, or mostly free of pesticides.May 16th, 2023 - 03:13 pm -1
The large rural producer probably feeds his family with products from family farming purchased at street markets and supermarkets throughout Brazil.
Agrarian reform is the fastest and most sustainable way to provide Brazilians with great quality food.
Agrarian Reform in unproductive or illegal land represents a strong factor in reducing inequality in Brazil.