The Brazilian Minister of Agrarian Development, Miguel Rossetto, said that, through September, the government’s National Agrarian Reform Plan has settled 56 thousand families on a total of more than a million hectares of expropriated land.
Thirteen thousand of these families are in the process of regularizing their lots. The others already have legitimate deeds. From the Minister’s perspective, these figures are encouraging.
The goal of the Plan is to settle 115 thousand families by the end of this year.
“A huge effort is being made to guarantee the settlement of these families, as well as to extend technical assistance to all the settlements, and the government proved it has the operational capacity to fulfill the National Agrarian Reform Plan’s goal,” the Minister affirmed.
Following a meeting in the Planalto Palace with President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the Minister said that Lula reaffirmed the government’s commitment to ensure all the budgetary and financial resources earmarked for agrarian reform.
So far the Ministry has received US$ 222 million (630 million reais) of the US$ 600 million (1.7 billion reais) apportioned by the federal government to enable the settlement goal.to be met.
Rossetto, told Brazilian lawmakers recently that 200 million hectares of land in Brazil have no kind of deed whatsoever for the State to exercise control.
During a public hearing held by the Parliamentary Investigating Committee formed to deal with the agrarian issue, Rossetto affirmed that instruments must be created to evaluate these areas in order for the government to obtain an accurate picture of their legal status for the development of the State’s social policies.
Along these lines, according to the Minister, the Ministry is making a survey to recognize and demarcate territories belonging to “quilombolas” (descendants of runaway slaves) and squatters.
Altogether there are, Rossetto said, 1.2 million squatters who traditionally occupy the land but possess no official document or legal security.
Rossetto added that the Ministry is working to regularize 2.2 million hectares. According to the Minister, 123 properties are already in the process of being expropriated, for a total of 305 thousand hectares.
In his assessment, 134,857 families can be settled in these areas. “This is why we shall fully meet the targets of agrarian reform,” he affirmed, referring to the National Agrarian Reform Plan, which foresees the settlement of 400 thousand families on the land by the end of this Administration.
Translator: David Silberstein