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11 May 2012 | | |

Key Party

Brazilian Expert Analyzes Conflict Over Land Between Agribusiness and Family Farming

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Brazilian agronomist Paulo Petersen is the Executive Coordinator of AS-PTA, a non governmental organization specialized in family farming and agroecology. In April he was in Uruguay to take part in the National Meeting of the Uruguayan Network of Agroecology (RAU), which focused on public policies and agroecology.

In interview with Real World Radio, Petersen talked in detail about the dispute over land between the agribusiness model and family farming.

He said that family farming is currently suffering a violation of territorial rights and mentioned a common rural reality to illustrate this: agrotoxics do not respect any borders.

According to Petersen, peasant agriculture is territorialized and that is why agroecology public policies are needed to strengthen the peasants autonomy at the production and commercialization levels, for example through shorter production chains.

He claims that family farming continues to be a very powerful sector in Brazil, although it is less agroecological than it used to be, mainly because some government policies have promoted the modernization of family farming in the machinery and products market, so it depends on the production chains.

“But if we adopted certain principles, family farming would take on practical forms and ways that are consistent with agroecology, for example the territorialization of agriculture, by valuing its resources and ecological capital, by adopting a strong link with the environment”.

“Agribuiness is based on a different principle. Wealth does not stay in the territories. It is not committed to the territory but to maximize profits in the short term”, he said.

The Brazilian expert claims agroecology is a method and that food sovereignty an end, which objective is clearly political: the self-determination of peoples.

Petersen also welcomed the discussions at the event held in Uruguay and concluded: “the issues that were on the table are key, because working with the State does not imply to be under it, we should have a discussion on equal terms and that is a central debate to be had”.

(CC) 2012 Real World Radio


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