Between January 21 and 23, representatives of peasant organizations and farmers from four continents met in Chapecó, in the state of Santa Catarina, in southern Brazil, to discuss a set of alternatives for family farming.
The seminar “Solidary Agricultural and Commercial Policies” received support from rural economists and non-governmental organizations in the area of development.
Representatives from 45 countries attended the encounter, the central purpose of which was to place higher value on rural producers, as well as to seek the best alternative for agricultural expansion.
At the end of the seminar, the representatives of the peasant organizations and rural producers from the various continents launched an appeal.
They drafted a document in which they demanded that governments stop adhering to the dogmatic vision of agricultural policies formulated by international agencies, particularly the World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the World Bank (IBRD).
They contend that this neoliberal vision based on market deregulation is harmful to family farmers all over the world.
And they call for policy reforms that take into account the legitimate expectations of communities and respect their productive and cultural diversities.
The farmers declared that the problems are getting worse, chiefly when it comes to the difficulty in gaining access to land and the precarious production capacity they must deal with.
They also emphasized that the abrupt drops in the prices they are paid increase the poverty of families that depend on the land.
Translation: David Silberstein