quarta-feira, agosto 06, 2003
Brasil: Reforma Agrária
"Brazil's production of grains -- cereals, legumes and oil seeds -- has doubled since 1990, even though the total cultivated area in the country grew just 14.8 percent.
This explosion in output allowed the agricultural sector to increase exports dramatically and achieve a trade surplus of more than 20 billion dollars a year -- helping to improve the South American giant's foreign accounts in general.
If this pace continues, within 10 years Brazil could replace the United States as the world's leading food producer, according to calculations by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
Given this context, in a country as competitive as Brazil there is no justification for agrarian reform, says Antonio Ernesto de Salvo, president of the Agriculture and Livestock Confederation of Brazil, which represents large farmers and ranchers and big agri-business.
Furthermore, the Brazilian countryside is divided into four million properties, more than double the U.S. total, and rural poverty is concentrated in small landholdings, De Salvo told IPS. "We already have an excess of small farms."
All that is needed, he says, is to create mechanisms to ensure "access to land for those who have the vocation of farmer."
"There cannot be land problems in a country with a territory of 8.5 million square kilometres," even if a large portion is set aside for environmental preservation.
De Salvo accuses the MST of being a "Marxist organisation" that takes advantage of the poor, mobilising the rural and urban unemployed with the objective of "taking over power", just like -- he says -- the guerrilla groups in Colombia, the Zapatistas in southern Mexico and Shining Path in Peru."
posted by Miguel Noronha 11:54 da manhã
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