Brazil’s Ministry of Agrarian Development (MDA) will receive another US$ 154 million (400 million reais) to carry out agrarian reform. The executive secretary of the Ministry, Guilherme Cassel, affirms that the recomposition of the budget will allow another 35 thousand families to be settled by September of this year.
“With the additional funds allocated by the government, we will be able to settle a total of around 80 thousand families,” the secretary declared.
According to Cassel, more money will be made available in the second half of the year for agrarian reform. The Ministry’s goal is to settle 115 thousand families in 2005 and 400 thousand by the end of Lula’s mandate.
In February the government announced that some federal expenditures would be placed on a contingency basis, and the budget of the MDA was cut from US$ 1.4 billion (3.7 billion reais) to US$ 1 billion (2.7 billion reais).
The decision to allot more resources to the Ministry was made after meetings held this week between the Minister of Agrarian Development, Miguel Rossetto, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and the government’s economic team.
At these meetings they also discussed restructuring loans to settlers. The periods should be longer, and there will be two more types of production credit.
“In the second half of the year we plan to introduce a new form of production credit, with a guaranteed market for what is produced, subsidized interest rates, and longer payment periods.”