Where does the land for land reform come from? Did you know that a landowner in Brazil can lose his property if it is not productive?
It can be expropriated by the Land Reform Institute (Incra) and landless rural worker families can be settled on it as part of the government’s land reform program.
And how does one determine if a certain area is or is not productive? That is obviously a crucial question in the Brazilian land reform debate and the definition of what is known as the "social function" of land. According to the Brazilian constitution, land in Brazil has a "social function" requirement.
According to Brazilian Minister of Agrarian Development, Miguel Rossetto, this year the government will revise its criteria for determining land productivity because the metrics used at the moment date from 1975.
"We have a legal obligation to update our criteria regularly," says the Minister. "Since 1975, productivity of certain crops, such as corn, soy and cotton, has risen 100%. Improved agricultural technology and techniques are now used. We have to take these things into consideration."
In his comments, Rossetto made it clear that he believes that by revising its productivity metrics, the government will wind up with more land for expropriation that can be used to settle families under its land reform program.