Tuesday, November 22, in Luziânia, state of Goiás, forty kilometers from BrasÀlia, capital of Brazil, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva attended the opening of the First National Congress on Family Farming.
In a speech he underlined the importance of the farm sector as a source of jobs. He went on to say that one of his government’s priorities was to give families that are settled as part of land reform programs a life with dignity.
The idea was to give them a chance to make a living in the countryside, without being forced to move to an urban center and face "conditions that were not humane."
Lula pointed out that ever since the presidential campaign he has been focused on the problems of farming families and sought to keep all the promises he made.
Looking back at his 35 months in office, Lula said that among other things, family farms now have access to more credit with the government making US$ 4 billion (9 billion reais) available this year, an increase of 300% over last year.
Lula also pointed out that his administration has made the distribution of harvest funding more equitable (it was highly concentrated in the south in the past).
The number of loans in the Northeast region has almost doubled (from 285,000 to 568,000 contracts) and in the North region the number has almost tripled (from 35,000 to 98,000).
With foreign guests present at the event, Lula also spoke of the farm subsidy problem.
"If rich countries do not reduce these subsidies, places like Africa will have increasing difficulties to develop. The playing field must be more level.
"The market has to be more just for those who are weaker and behind. Agriculture is the only chance many countries have to gain access to world markets," said the President.