Brazil’s Agribusiness Model Breeds World Hunger While Fattening Monsanto & Co

MST action at Monsanto plantation in Brazil In 2008, we wrote yet another chapter about the struggle between the two disputing projects in Brazilian agriculture. On one side, small and mid-sized agriculture that produces food for the Brazilian family table. On the other, the big national and transnational corporations and finance capital that produce soy, eucalyptus, sugarcane, and extensive animal husbandry for export.

Unfortunately, Lula's government continues prioritizing the agribusiness model. It has conceded credit, pardoned debts, and relaxed environmental legislation, while the rural workers continue in their struggle for land reform and the settlers experience great difficulties in guaranteeing production and obtaining an income.

This way, the agro-export model is reinforced, based on large expanses of land, the use of toxins, negative environmental impacts, and exploitation of labor.

Also deepened this year were the politics regarding agrofuels that contribute to the increase in food prices by advancing over other farming industries as well as by raising the average values of agricultural products.

The agribusiness model, especially the production of raw material for fuels, contributes to world hunger in the same way that it boosts the profits of transnational companies such as Bunge, Cargill, Monsanto, Bayer, and Syngenta among others.

Meanwhile, land reform did not advance and the concentration of land increased. We understand that without social pressure, it is not possible for significant transformations to occur in our country, which is so marked by profound social inequalities and poverty.

For this reason, we took to the streets, we occupied land estates, we put pressure on governments for land reform, schools, credit, cooperative agribusiness, houses, that is, for living and working conditions. We denounced the agribusiness model, the crimes committed by the transnationals, the advance of transgenics culture, and the violation of our territory and biodiversity by foreign companies.

The fight for land reform is not simple. We confront the most conservative sectors of our country; those that attempt to criminalize a just and dignified struggle for better conditions of life. We confront the powerful companies and finance capital that want to control the production, industrialization, distribution, and commercialization of food.

Despite this, even in the face of so many obstacles and repression, we have had our victories. Our settlements in SΓ£o Gabriel (Rio Grande do Sul state), in the heart of the divided estate, Chico Mendes (Pernambuco), in the former Votorantim, and the eviction by social welfare of a large farm operating by slave labor in ParΓ‘, are all examples of how with struggle and resistance, victories are possible.

Besides these victories, the crisis of the international financial system – the same system that manages agribusiness – revealed the fragility of the land concentration model. The prevalence of speculation and profit above all other interests of agribusiness was revealed to society.

The expansive cellulose projects, for example, that were threatening to turn whole states into "green deserts", collapsed with speculation, consuming public resources and leaving thousands of rural workers, fooled by promises of employment, without jobs.

The food crisis also revealed the priorities of agribusiness: seeking salvation in the stock market and speculating with that most basic of human rights: the right to eat.

Now it appears that only land reform can produce food and create permanent jobs in the countryside, in addition to the thousands of indirect jobs in the cities where settlements are installed, livening up the local economy and feeding the city.

Our struggle is the same as that of so many Brazilian men and women: a struggle for dignity and for a country that is just and fraternal. In the countryside, we fight on the side of those affected by dams, small farmers, indigenous peoples, quilombolas, and fishermen. In the cities, we unite with the homeless, oil workers, the unemployed, teachers, or in other words all the men and women workers who defend a popular project for Brazil.

The global economic crisis opens opportunities for our country and for the working classes. We cannot let slip the chance to change the existing economic model which impedes the development of social justice. Only struggle will be able to prevent the crisis from falling onto the backs of workers, with increases in unemployment and cuts in salaries.

In this context, we enter into 2009, a year in which we commemorate 25 years of struggle and of organization, excited and with the hope that the people of Brazil will rise up and fight for their rights. Happy 2009 and good struggles for all of us!

By the National Coordination of the MST (Brazil's Movement of the Landless Rural Workers).


  • Show Comments (5)

  • du48

    Round up, ready — to compete with whom?
    An article in the Folha Online about French journalist, Marie-Monique Robin, should be of interest to those who are concerned about food production and ethical farming methods –

  • A.Gomes

    Brazil is the cheapest in the world.
    I was in Brazil last year and I did not see people in hunger at all.
    People there pay almost nothing for food, they have all kinds of fruit at low price.
    Beef is plenty in their diet, the goverment is doing the right thing, as prove of that,
    Mr. lula have 70% aproval rate.

  • ch.c.

    Brazil’s Agribusiness Model Breeds World Hunger
    Strange Brazil !
    – Your agribusiness EXPORT MODEL is the one SUBSIDIZED THE MOST. While your 5,5 millions family farmers get only 20 %
    of all agribusiness government subsidizes !
    – And if Brazil feeds the World, why then 50 millions of brazilians are still UNDER NOURRISHED ?

    – without adequate tools (seeds, pesticides, fongicides, tractors, harvesters, etc etc) it is hard to be competitive.
    Therefore you should thank Monsanto, Syngenta, John Deere, etc to provide you the tools BRAZIL is UNABLE
    to produce by itself….due to lack of R&D, knowledge, will and money !

    Last but not least
    – somewhat funny that most brazilians family farmers dont even have a small tractor. Just watch TV Rural at TV Globo.
    MANY still PLANT grains seeds MANUALLY and HARVEST the crops MANUALLY….just like 50-100 years ago !
    Or like in Africa….in 2009 ! Where is the difference ?
    – same for your sugarcane fields. Not even HALF is harvested mechanically….in 2009 ! And this despite mechanical harvesters
    exist for many decades

    If you are unable to produce them, just ask CHINA ! Not as good as Deere, but much cheaper !

    Ohhhhh la la ! Robbing Hook has again strong headaches……hearing the words…IMPORTING FROM CHINA ! EXPORTING….YESSSS….IMPORTING….OUCHHHH…IT HURTS !!!! MANUAL PLANTING AND HARVESTING IS SO MUCH BETTER
    THAN MECHANICAL. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    πŸ˜€ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜‰

  • João da Silva

    You haven’t yet read the article in:



  • asp

    first of all, you all need to stop studying up in cuba. the volta no campo concept has failed miserably there and in china where millions died because of it…

    second, the rising food prices started happening long before the bio fuels progects were really put in place. only the corn ethanal concept would fall under that concept of using land that could feed people

    third, you need to change your tactics. that fucking walking down the highway, banging machetes on the guard rails is boring and stupid. you turn off far more people with that shit than you win over

    lets face it, there are so many red flag parties in brazil, that you can get away with that bullshit and they just adapt a deixa eles philosophy , sort of a warped back lash over the comunist represion that went down in the 60’s and 70’s

    you know, if you ass holes could cut loose your marxist flawed philosophies,and , tone down the implied violent take over shit, you might gain a lot of support in brazil and really make a differance

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

comment *

  • name *

  • email *

  • website *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


You May Also Like

World Cup and Olympics: Just Another Example of Brazil’s Perverted Generosity

Brazilian history begins with a gesture of inverted generosity: civilizing the native population, exploiting ...

Low Inflation Keeps Brazilian Market Jumping

Latin American stocks gained ground, with Brazilian shares attracting buyers on encouraging inflation data. ...

US, EU, China Discuss Food Security in Brazil

Today the First World Congress on Food Security gets underway in SΓ£o Paulo. Brazil ...

Moroccan Foreign Minister, Mohamed BenaΓ­Β―ssa, on visit to Brazil

Morocco Believes Brazil’s Technology Can Help Africa and Arab Countries

The importance of cooperation between developing countries is part of the vision of the ...

Without Answers, Brazil Senate Summons Psychic to Find Out Blackout’s Causes

At the request of senator Arthur VirgÀ­lio, the leader of the opposition party PSDB ...

Ex-Union Activist and New Brazil’s Labor Minister Promises Higher Minimum Wage

One of the objectives of the new Minister of Labor and Employment, LuÀ­s Marinho, ...

New Signs of Brazilian Industry’s Contraction

Industrial production in Brazil dropped 2% in September, compared with August. In comparison with ...

Lula Urges Congress to Probe Corruption Without Paralyzing Brazil

Speaking to the nation during his fortnightly radio program, “Breakfast with the President,” Brazilian ...