Brazil’s federal government will distribute US$ 376 million (1 billion reais) in the 2004-2005 agricultural year in order for female farmers to have access to credit from the National Program to Strengthen Family Farming (Pronaf).
President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva estimates that the funds for this harvest will attain US$ 452 million (1.2 billion reais), as against US$ 213.7 million (568 million reais) in loans to female farmers in the 2003-2004 agricultural year.
During his biweekly radio program, “Breakfast with the President,” Lula also commented that the resources are still small in relation to the needs of Brazilian female farmers.
According to the President, female participation in Pronaf loans was an advance in comparison with what existed in the past.
“We were aware that many women didn’t even have the documents necessary to have access to bank credit,” he remarked.
The decision to include women in the Pronaf, according to the President, was made in conjunction with the National Confederation of Agricultural Workers (Contag) and various civil society organizations.
“We began to legalize women’s lives in terms of the documents needed for them to go get their money in the bank. And a lot of progress is being made,” he disclosed.
Translation: David Silberstein