Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva took advantage of the International Labor Day commemorations, yesterday, to declare that agrarian reform is one of his Administration’s priorities.
According to the President, discussion of this issue is marked by two conflicting perspectives: on the one hand, the number of settlements for families of landless rural workers, and, on the other, the consolidation of credit, technical assistance, and production incentive policies to enhance living conditions in the countryside for those who have already received land.
“There is always a conflict when it comes time to discuss agarian reform. Whether you gauge a good agrarian reform by the quantity of land you turned into settlements or the quantity of what is produced by the people who are occupying the land,” the President affirmed.
Last year, Lula’s Administration was able to apply 99.4% of the allotted budget. 81,254 families were settled during the period between January and December, 71% of the government’s goal, which was to settle 115 thousand families.
President Lula observed that around 70% of the families receive technical assistance at planting time.
In an interview with the Agência Brasil, one of the members of the national board of the Landless Rural Workers’ Movement (MST), Valter Misnerovizz, judges that the pace of agrarian reform does not meet the social movements’ demands.
“With respect to both the number of families settled and the care and development of the settlements,” he explained.