Brazilian Minister of Agriculture, Roberto Rodrigues, announced that he is leaving the government. At a press conference he explained that his resignation had been accepted by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
Rodrigues went on to explain that he was leaving because he felt his job was done and that he had achieved the goals he set when he took office.
He added that there were no political reasons for the resignation, denying reports in the media that the PMDB wanted the ministry.
Rodrigues declared that the dominant, recurring task during his time as head of Agriculture had been "managing crises." He said that the last two years in the farm sector were the worst in forty years. He added that he had done his best mediating disputes between the government and farmers.
In conclusion, Rodrigues said that with the approval of the "agriculture package" last month his work on structural reform measures had been completed.
In a note signed by its national secretariat, the Landless Rural Worker Movement (Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra) (MST) commented on the resignation of Rodrigues.
According to the note, "Unfortunately, Rodrigues did not support the democratization of land ownership, the linkage of income distribution and food sovereignty, or the use of farming techniques that are ecologically friendly."
The note goes on to say that the principal concern at the MST is to adopt economic policies and a farm model that benefits the majority of Brazilians. And warns that if this is not done the country will face grave problems with hunger, poverty and unemployment in a society that is already one of the most unequal on the planet.
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