The achievements of the National Campaign of Via Campesina

Gilberto Carvalho guaranteed to return to the theme with the government and answers to the agenda of the Via Campesina

Mansur Vinicius, Brazil de Fato, in Brasília (DF)

After a week of action, the National Campaign of Via Campesina, held in Brasilia, came to an end on Friday 26th of August, with results from the government on the organization's claims.

During an intense day of negotiations in the Presidential Palace, the approximately four thousand manifestants remained camped at the gates of the Ministry of Finance. In the afternoon the mobilization returned to the camp where the federal government, represented by the minister of the General Secretariat of the Presidency, Gilberto Carvalho, said "The first great achievement was that you could replace the governments land reform in its agenda".

In concrete terms, the principal achievements announced by the Minister were the addition of R$ 400 million in the budget of INCRA and MDA to obtain land for agrarian reform and the release of R$ 15 million of the National Agrarian Reform Education (Pronera ). Also on the list, the implementation of the Rural Literacy Program, as proposed by Via Campesina, and the financing of agribusiness in settlements: R$ 200 million for projects of up to R$ 50,000 and R$ 250 million for projects up to R$ 250 thousand, all of these credits at no cost (check out other achievements below).

For the leader of the MST and Via Campesina João Paulo Rodrigues, these answers from the federal government are the major achievements. They are results of the mobilization that brought four thousand peasants to Brasilia, and mobilized over 50 thousand in all Brazil, during the National Day of Struggle for Agrarian Reform. However, stressed Rodrigues, the debt problems of small farmers in Brazil, totaling about R$ 30 billion, has not been answered satisfactorily.

"We are delighted, but not with the proposed debt. We know that the fight will continue. "

The government's proposal allows the debtor to access a credit of up to R$ 20,000 with interest of 2% per year and payment period of seven years to pay off his current debt, and to access new Pronaf credits. The movements claimed debt amnesty.

Gilberto Carvalho admitted that during these negotiations almost no progress was made on the issues of the indigenous peoples, quilombolas and people affected by dams, but stressed that the government will resume the policy of land reform and approvals for new achievements will come out of the permanent conversations that the government has with the Movement of People Affected by Dams (MAB).

The next meeting between the government and Via Campesina is already scheduled for September 21.

Government responses to Campesian Via:

- Increase of R$ 400 million in the budget of INCRA and MDA to obtain land for agrarian reform.

- Release of R$ 15 million of contingent Pronera.

- Rural Literacy Program, as proposed by Via Campesina.

- Agribusiness in settlements: R$ 200 million for projects of up to R$ 50,000 and R$ 250 million for projects up to R$ 250 thousand, all these loans to grants.

- MDA and INCRA must have between 7 and 10 September an emergency plan of settlement until the end of the year, but also with a view to 2014.

- Debt: credit up to R$ 20.000, with interest at 2% per year and payment period of seven years to pay off current debt, freeing up access to new credits Pronaf.

- Inclusion of the areas of agrarian reform in Housing Program that the government will announce next week.

- Sustainable and Integrated Agroecology Production (SIAP) will have all the resources required for all projects submitted.

- Installation of Working Groups to labor regulations for the use of new pesticides.

- Implementation of 20 Federal Institutes of Education, Science and Technology (IFETs)

- Culture: creating announcements for libraries, cinema and audiovisual production, specific to the field.

- Programme for the release of grants for community radio stations in settlements.

Photo: Valter Campanato - ABr