What We Want from the Dilma Government

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

dilmaLa Via Campesina (a sister organization of MST) presents a political platform to the federal government of Brazil which includes emergency measures, medium term measures, and strategies for the development and strengthening of family-based and peasant agriculture. The proposals are listed below.

Emergency Measures

  1. Emergency plan to resolve the situation of 60,000 encamped families, some of which have spent more than five years in the fight for Agrarian Reform.
  2. Debt amnesty of up to R$ 10,000 (approx. $6,234) for small farmers that access the National Program of Family Agriculture (Pronaf) alongside renegotiation of the account at the end of the contract.
  3. Recomposition of the launch of INCRA (National Institute of Colonization and Agrarian Reform) for expropriations. Accelerate the expropriations of processes that are currently ready.
  4. Articulate a new regulatory framework for agreements with social entities and movements.
  5. Full release of the R$ 30 million (approx. $18.7 million) for the allotted and necessary resources for PRONERA (National Program of Education and Agrarian Reform) courses (half of the allotted resources were withheld) and a guarantee of R$ 50 million (approx. $31.2 million) for 2012.
  6. Carry out the resettlement plan for all of the families affected by completed dams and hydroelectric plants.

II- Medium term measures

  1. Format the assistance program for cooperative agroindustries in family-based and settlement-based agriculture, with resources from the National Bank of Economic and Social Development (BNDES) and the Ministry of Social Development and Fighting Hunger (MDS) so the program can begin functioning this year.
  2. Implement the reforestation program in family-based agriculture, increasing the Bolsa Verde and ensuring half a minimum salary per family for reforesting 2 hectares.
  3. Empower the National Supply Company (CONAB) as the business that guarantees the purchase of all food products, by releasing resources for the purchase of food and increasing its operations in all national territory.
  4. Organize the national campaign to overcome illiteracy, as a true national effort, which in the next few years can teach reading and writing to the majority of the 14 million illiterate adult workers.
  5. Creation of 30 Federal Institutes of Education, Science, and Technology (IFETS) in the rural areas.
  6. Implement a new method of rural credit for families in settlements and poor peasants in the countryside, estimated to be 3.5 million, who do not access PRONAF (National Program of Family-based Agriculture).
  7. Instruct the National Agency of Sanitary Surveillance (ANVISA) to review all agritoxins and establish a new registration framework.
  8. Federal governmental supervision and enforcement of the law that determines that the presence of genetic modification in must be reported in all foods. Creation of a law to label foods produced with pesticides.
  9. Ban the proposition that authorizes the production, sale, and use of Terminator seeds.

10.  Ban the release of genetically modified eucalyptus seeds, in the National Technical Biosafety Commission (CTNBio).

11.  Accelerate the approval of the Constitutional Amendment Project (PEC) of Slave Labor, which has already been approved in the Senate, but has been stalled for eight years in Congress.

12.  Fix the changes in the Forest Code in the jurisdiction of the Senate, which is impeding the approval of the proposals already approved in the Chamber of Deputies. At worst, guarantee the realization of a popular referendum to allow the public to decide.

III- Permanent Strategic Questions

  1. Construct a new national Agrarian Reform plan, with a new conception to overcome the current situation, and ensuring the resettlement of a minimum of 100,000 families per year.
  2. Prevent the sale of more than three modules of land (which varies between 20 hectares in the Southern Region and 400 hectares in Amazonia) to foreign companies.
  3. Recognition of all the traditional areas of Quilombo communities, through a collective effort of responsible agencies.
  4. Resolve the question of Guarani-Kaiowa people in Mato Grosso do Sul.
  5. Implement a policy to stimulate agroecology, encouraging the production of native seeds (through the creation of a new regulatory framework) and organic fertilizers.
  6. Prohibit the closing of elementary schools in the countryside. Create a special program of rural schools that can expand the installation of middle schools, Federal Institutes of Education, Science, and Technology, and university access for rural youth.

translated by Rob Call